Some of the organizers and several protesters emphasize in particular the fear of a dictatorship.
26 July 2020 13: 31
Updated at 22: 50
Protest against the wearing of the mask to Quebec: “a sign of submission [PHOTOS]
Under a wave of horns, bells, shouts and of applause, several hundred people gathered peacefully in front of the national Assembly, Sunday afternoon, to protest against the wearing of masks compulsory.
Despite the torrential rain that fell from the sky, citizens of all ages, and several small families with young children came chanting the word “freedom” in unison around the fontaine de Tourny. Accompanied by signs “no mask required”, the crowd gradually grew until the beginning of the event.
The movement “Call to freedom” and its founder, Frédéric Pitre, organiser of the event, opened the peaceful rally, starting at noon, with a call of peace and quiet without hatred or anger. In their opening speeches, the organization called protesters “pathfinder”, “agents of change” and “creators” of humanity of the future”.
Some personalities have been invited to speak at the rally, including Josée Turmel, former presenter of TQS. For her, it was important to participate in this event to defend “our rights and our freedoms”. “Yes, there’s a virus. Yes, there were dead and sick people, but the numbers show that this is not more serious than the flu. Then the emergency measures, even today in the month of July, are excessive,” says Ms. Turmel, who adds that the number of active cases currently in Quebec does not justify, according to it, wearing a mask mandatory.
There was crowd in front of the national Assembly.
The Sun, Érick Labbé
Alexis Cossette-Trudel, organizer of the event, and named by several protestors as the spokesperson for the movement, reported to the micro the mandatory wearing of the mask, calling it “a coup against the people”.
Other allocuteurs as Jean-François Dubois, “self-taught constitutional law”, have in particular explained why, according to them, the mask-wearing mandatory was unconstitutional, although researchers in quebec law have previously stated that this measure could be justified in a free and democratic society. Some of the organizers and several citizens expressed their fears that Quebec will become a dictatorship. Among the slogans drawn on the placards, one could see “COVID-19 : preparation for a police State,” “No to dictatorship”, or “What rights do we want to keep in 2021 ?”. According to them, the mask-wearing compulsory is an infringement of the fundamental rights and freedoms.
The denunciation of several concerns
Throughout the rally, the crowd was notably brandi, through the signs “not in the mask required”, with the flags of Quebec, the flag of the patriotes, as well as posters showing the logo “anti-law 61” or drawings against compulsory vaccination.
For Josée Turmel, although the main subject of the event focuses on the mask mandatory, the claims concerning the law, 61 or the vaccines were about.
“Yes, it is against the mask. But the law 61, it is so that emergency measures can continue permanently. One is able to see that it is not worse than wearing a mask mandatory, which is coming. It’s going to be compulsory vaccination, which will come. So it’s everything that we want to denounce and prevent”, she adds.
The allocuteurs have also launched a number of criticisms towards the media, whose coverage of the pandemic. During the gathering, several journalists have received insults from protesters.
“At this time, the media, such as yours, I’m sorry, all sharing the same message. It does not mean that it is the truth. We had other things to say and we want to be heard,” explains Steve Charland, a member of the organization responsible for the event, in an interview to the Sun.
“I’m not a specialist, but they [the government] used a flu virus to pass laws that we don’t need in general. They want us to return to the law 61 in the throat, under gag order. This is not a proof of democracy,” said Mr. Charland, stating his view of things.
The majority of the protesters have left the front of the national Assembly to 14: 30. Members of the movement believe to have collected between 4,000-5,000 protesters in total.
15: 45, the Service de police de la Ville de Québec (SPVQ) was described as a manifestation of “peaceful assembly”. The SPVQ has made no arrest. The police have estimated the crowd between 2000 and 3000 protesters.
According to figures published by public Health, there were, on July 25, 169 new cases of COVID-19 across the province as well as a new death. These latest figures are a rise in the balance sheet total to 58 583 people infected with the new coronavirus. Quebec has 5 667 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
There are 197 people who are still hospitalized as a result of the COVID-19, of which 10 are in the icu.