Protesters gathered at the Foothills Medical Centre hospital in Calgary on Monday to oppose forced vaccines for healthcare workers. This was the second protest at this location in recent weeks, with the prior gathering having been considerably larger.
In the days leading up to the event, several politicians and even Calgary police weighed in, suggesting that these events were potentially disrupting vital work at the hospital. Agreeably, they insisted that while folks have a right to protest, they must not interfere with hospital access in any way. Many mainstream media outlets were also on hand, most of which seemed to be more interested in demonizing the peaceful protesters with headlines about the hospital needing increased security and surgeries being cancelled, falsely implying that the protesters were a threat and that Alberta Health Services' categorical misuse of resources and asset management was somehow a result of these protests.
Despite all this maligning, the protest was once again largely peaceful and respectful of the adjacent hospital. Or at least it was, until Antifa showed up.
Antifa arrived with a mobile speaker system blaring music at volumes that made it virtually impossible to hear emergency vehicles. Immediately upon their arrival, they began initiating physical interactions with people already in attendance, some of which culminated in Antifa members shoving people and ultimately a few fights. This resulted in the police detainment of at least two Antifa members.
Despite dozens of Calgary police and peace officers being on the scene, the relative inaction of authorities was problematic. They made no effort to stop Antifa from continued advances into the crowd of protesters on hand. While we certainly appreciate officers practicing de-escalation strategies, we also noticed several instances of police backing away from an area just as tensions seemed to be rising. On several occasions I had to intervene and request that police become involved to prevent a serious incident. Aside from engaging when full-on fisticuffs erupted, police largely stood by and watched. They insisted that they were recording events and would be following up on violations after the fact, which remains to be seen.
I approached a member of Antifa to ask if they wanted to share why they were counter-protesting. He rushed towards me, loudly cursing with such aggression that police intervened to prevent him from accosting me further. I will note that it did seem to be only a few of the Antifa members who were being very physically aggressive, and by the end of the day, a few of the Antifa members spoke with us without any threat of violence.
Despite the physical altercations, which you will see for yourself in the video, I was approached by a mainstream media camera operator who asked what I thought about Antifa’s presence.
I expressed that they have every right to protest but that it is unfortunate that they are pushing people and becoming physical. This camera operator categorically denied that Antifa pushed anyone and further insisted that he was filming everything and that I was being dishonest. I am not sure if this gentleman was just completely unobservant, or just blinded by bias, but it was a damning condemnation of the lack of journalistic capacity within these agencies.
Setting aside these distractions, the core of the peaceful protest remained a message of love over hatred, and uncompromising support for the fundamental rights of healthcare workers against forced vaccination. If you want to support healthcare workers’ right to medical privacy, help us fight back at FightVaccinePassports.com.