Vernon protesters tout freedom and end to COVID-19 lockdown - InfoNews

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Vernon protesters tout freedom and end to COVID-19 lockdown

A handful of protesters stand outside the Vernon courthouse, May 22, 2020.
May 22, 2020 - 3:30 PM

Protesters who gathered outside the Vernon courthouse today did not have to worry about breaking the Provincial Health Officer's order prohibiting crowds of more than 50 people.

At roughly 12:30 p.m. today, May 22, nine people lined the sidewalk outside the courthouse with a collection of signs which read, "quarantine the sick not the healthy" and "every business is essential to someone."

While arguing for free speech, one protester demanded photos taken of her be deleted.

Plenty of vehicles honked as they drove by.

Holding a large Canadian flag and standing on the sidewalk, Vernon resident Colt Wilson told he wasn't 100 per cent sure what the group stood for, but it was largely about ending the lockdown.

"Me personally because I have three children and I don't like what I'm seeing happening," Wilson said. "I feel like our freedoms are possibly at stake and I feel like we're not going to get them back."

This was the latest of several small protests around the Okanagan and other B.C. cities against the province's response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Since mid-March, B.C. has asked people not to gather in groups larger than 50 and maintain six-feet of distance from each other. Health officials urged people to stay home with family and not go out unless necessary, wash their hands regularly, and quarantine themselves if they are feeling ill. Businesses that could not adhere to those rules had to close, including specific orders to close bars and restaurants, as well as personal services like haircuts and massages that couldn't follow the orders. Those specific orders were lifted this week so long as businesses could figure out how to physically keep people apart. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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