While Jason Kenney parades his government as champions of freedom with most COVID-19 restrictions and mandates set to expire this week, thousands are still protesting government overreach and the authoritarian response of health officials in Alberta and across Canada. Mainstream media and social media pundits alike were quick to echo the “the mandates are over, what are you protesting?” government talking points, but the folks attending the Calgary Freedom Rallies over these past years have been paying far closer attention than government officials likely suspected, and they explained that they will continue to protest because we are far from free when it comes to vaccine passports and restrictions.
On paper, the restrictions in Alberta may largely be behind us, for now, and the Emergencies Act has been revoked — but the fact remains that thousands of Canadians lost their jobs without severance due to these mandates and never got them back, unvaccinated Canadians are still not free to travel within Canada and throughout the world as they please, and everyone, from Jason Kenney to Theresa Tam, has stated bluntly that these restrictions may very well return. We have also seen the general trampling of Charter rights, the freezing of bank accounts and the arrests of pastor, one of whom is still in jail by the way, that continue to take place. Despite people insisting that there is nothing more to protest, the facts paint an entirely different picture.
In a rare occurrence, a group of about twenty counter-protesters was awaiting the freedom rally along 17 Ave as they marched peacefully through downtown Calgary. We tried to speak with to those opposing the rally, but when someone did agree to an interview, a leader of sorts from the group rapidly interjected and stopped our conversation. While the protests have been peaceful and almost entirely without incident for over two years, on this day a smoke bomb suddenly went off amidst the counter protesters. Progressive Twitter users were quick to pile on suggesting that the Calgary Freedom Rally protesters threw the smoke bomb at them, but we have had several reports from folks who have video proof that the smoke bomb was indeed brought and set-off by the pro-lockdown protesters themselves. We will share that footage in a report as soon as it becomes available.
While slackened restrictions and global affairs have led many to be distracted from the immense adverse effects of COVID-19 mandates, those who have been standing together week after week at these protests are not so quick to forget. They remain vigilantly on guard should restrictions arise again.
If you want to show your support for the thousands of Canadians who lost their jobs because of unjust vaccine mandates, make a tax-receipt-eligible donation to The Democracy Fund at FightVaccinePassports.com to help hire lawyers to challenge these unjust and unCanadian mandates.