On April 2 at 1:00 pm MT, hundreds converged at Calgary City Hall to protest the remaining mandates and restrictions — despite mayor Jyoti Gondek’s recent court injunction that was used to criminalize peaceful demonstrations.
While most mandates have been dropped across provinces in Canada, many remain, including the federal travel ban on the unvaccinated and the quarantine requirements imposed on unvaccinated truckers crossing the border into Canada.
According to one protester participating in the Beltline protest last week, “I’m not against someone who wants to get vaccinated. I just think it should be a choice, and that’s really what we’re all here fighting for is people’s choice to choose their own medical autonomy.”
“A lot of people have lost their jobs over this, and a lot of people are in really tough situations right now; families have been devastated, and unfortunately, the government who was set up to help protect us is not doing their job, and we’re just really frustrated over it.”
Another protester said that the vaccine passport had prevented him from enjoying his own property in the US.
“I’ve got a place down in Phoenix, and I’d love to travel down there because every year I watch spring training baseball. I haven’t been able to do that here this year just because I am unvaccinated, and I don’t think that’s right,” he said.
“So that’s why I’m here. We’re not breaking any laws, I want peace, love and unity, and I just want everybody to be together again.”
For weeks, Calgarians have been protesting in the Beltline every Saturday, causing Gondek more than a little concern.
Indeed, she went so far as to file a court injunction to pressure the police into quashing protesters, while police originally wanted to let the peaceful protests fizzle out.
Protesters, of course, continued fighting for their rights despite the injunction.
Gondek claims she supports the right to protest but only if they are at “appropriate locations” — i.e., government-approved locations.
Of these “appropriate locations,” Gondek recommends “public spaces such as the plaza at City Hall…” which is just where protesters have gathered.
Gondek’s approval has tanked since taking office, dropping 15 points to 38 per cent due to extremely unpopular policy decisions. These decisions include ruining the Calgary Flames arena deal, declaring a climate emergency, fighting to keep Calgarians masked, and recently supporting the removal of the ‘thin blue line’ patch worn by police officers in solidarity with the fallen.
Gondek has yet to respond to the growing demonstration outside her office.