Approximately 1,000 anti-lockdown and anti-mandatory mask protesters took to Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto recently to reject what they see as government overreach in regards to COVID-19 measures.
Among the array of speakers, included a pastor, and of course, well-known activist from the Toronto area, Chris Sky. Sky has gained a lot of popularity as of late for his resistance to many, if not all of the coronavirus, municipal, provincial and even federal guidelines.
Not only has Sky hosted a series of gatherings/protests that do not abide by municipal gathering limits (not unlike Black Lives Matter and climate activists), Sky openly discussed at the event how he did not obey his mandatory quarantine after travelling to Ireland.
In addition, he encouraged the nearby police presence to arrest or fine him if they saw fit. Sources say that Sky was fined before his speech upon arriving at the event, but his issued ticket contained purposeful and obvious, logistical errors that would void the ticket if challenged.
"If they arrest me, they know I'll fight it, and I'll win. Then everyone will see that these laws don't mean anything and no one will care. That's why they won't do anything," Sky remarked during an interview.
Across the street, many onlookers interviewed were either confused, or disappointed at what was going on. While very few were angry, about 60-70% of onlookers were not in support of the event, many of whom advocated for mask bylaws.
When asked about an end date, or conditions for which it would be okay to de-mask, most agreed that until a vaccine was developed, masks should likely be required.
As protesters spilled into Yonge Street the march — cordoned off by very accommodating police officers — made its way Northbound, pumping feel-good music and chants for freedom.
The number of conspiracy theorists (those denying the virus exists, or anything far out there) were incredibly limited, just as very any rambunctious haters.
Teens were more likely to be upset by the protest, engaging in performative outrage they likely see on social media rather than having an actual concern, while one angry woman flipped off the crowd and said "you're killing people" as she walked by the protest.
Overall, the younger the person, the more likely they were to be against the protest/march.
Nonetheless, no violence, nor even any sort of overly heated arguments seems to have occurred over the approximate four hours of the event.