I headed to Queen's Park to report from the World Wide Freedom Rally in Toronto on Saturday January 22. I estimate about two thousand people showed up to stand in the cold and snow. Regardless of the frosty atmosphere, and cold feet, people seemed to be in great spirits.
There was a palpable feeling of optimism among the diverse group, which led me to ask people if this was a common feeling. The answer was a resounding YES!
A few people that I spoke to said that this was their first time attending a Freedom Rally, and some were hardened veterans of the Freedom Movement who show up every week. Though the frequency of attendance varied, most people said they’ve simply had enough of the endless lockdowns, mask requirements, and vaccine mandates, thrusting them out of the warm shelter and into the snow-blanketed park.
There were people handing out leaflets, and fact sheets, blasting music, and there was a father and child handing out hot chocolate with marshmallows. The smiles and good will of the crowd made it a cold, but friendly and safe atmosphere for people of all ages. A mother breastfed a baby under a large fluffy blanket, a disabled man was helped over a heap of snow by a group of strangers, and I was given tons of high-fives and accolades directed at Rebel News for being the only news outlet visible that day.
Maxim Bernier was in attendance, as well as MPP Randy Hillier, and a list of other speakers. I did not see any police in Queen's Park that day.
As my toes began to freeze (I wore the wrong boots) I retreated into the warmth of my car, but the March continued on. The protesters passed by several notable Toronto institutions including the CBC building where the crowd chanted “Tell the truth!”, before returning to the home base of Queen's Park.
These Marches take place every Saturday at noon starting from Queen's Park. Although the average attendance is low, outside of the World Wide Rallies, the fact that Canadians are willing to demonstrate every single week, rain or shine, snow or more snow, proves that freedom is still important to Canadians.