Anti-COVID-restriction rallies spark community backlash | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Anti-COVID-restriction rallies spark community backlash

Reuben Scott, from Summerland who commutes to Kelowna for school, observes an anti-COVID-19 restriction protest in Stuart Park, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021.
January 23, 2021 - 4:31 PM

Protests against COVID-19 restrictions have become a weekend staple in Kelowna but a newer, mask-friendly group is also growing.

Reuben Scott, from Summerland, believes in the provincial health officer’s orders and wears a mask. He stood at City Hall Saturday, Jan 23, quietly observing the scene at Stuart Park, where roughly 100 anti-mask protestors gathered as part of an ongoing weekly protest against COVID-19 restrictions, masks, and vaccinations.

“I hear about this stuff on the internet. I think it’s hilarious. On my way (home) I just stop and take a look,” he said. “I’m not really interested in engaging with these people… but so much of (their justifications), especially those signs, are conspiracy theories.”

Roughly 10 people have started opposing the protests, standing across the street, apart from one another, with their own megaphone, signs and masks.

“It’s hard to take these people seriously,” Scott said, adding that he has been to three of the rallies so far.

Heather Friesen, from Kelowna, said she used to be the only one opposing the protest for roughly the last 10 weeks, but more people have become vocal about the protests in the last few weeks.

“I think what’s happening in Kelowna is quite dangerous. The anti-mask movement is frightening and I think it’s time we say as a city this is enough,” she said.

She said anti-COVID-19 restriction protest organizer David Lindsay handed her a “cease and desist order” today for calling him names related to his ties to an alleged white supremacist.

Leading these protests has prompted a closer look at Lindsay's history. In recent weeks his long-time history of frivolous lawsuits and jail-time spent for refusing to pay taxes was put in focus again by various media outlets. As were his ties to an alleged white supremacist.

READ MORE: 'She's a liar,' Kelowna anti-COVID-19 restriction rally organizer takes aim at Dr. Bonnie Henry

“As more people join we’re starting to get a little bit louder which is necessary. This needs to end,” Friesen said.

Friesen said the anti-restriction protesters need to understand “they don’t have freedom over Kelowna.”

While she believes the RCMP aren’t doing enough to ensure these protests don’t keep happening, she also understands the pandemic has created a difficult situation for everyone.

“I’m tired of wearing a mask too, but oh well, I don’t want people to get COVID so suck it up,” Friesen said.


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