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LETTER: Kelowna protest against public health orders not about masks and restrictions

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January 26, 2021 - 12:26 PM

Dear Editor,

Out of curiosity, I put my mask on and travelled into downtown Kelowna Saturday (Jan. 16) to bear witness at the Anti-mask rally. I wandered through the platform above the toilets across from City Hall and observed the signs on display as the organizers set up.

From previous reports, there have been up to 150 people in attendance. There were only approximately 40-50 in attendance this time. I did not want to be associated with, (or in the proximity of) the protesters, so I sat across the street in front of City Hall. A few others joined me as the rally began. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hear most of what the speakers said because they kept sending men from the rally over to harass, take photos and film us. They aggressively confronted the people holding signs, demanding that they “show the science- there is no science”.

I’m thinking - WHAT? I am not in the habit of reading science or medical journals and I don’t expect any of “the masked” do either, but I feel confident that the experts in those fields have the experience and knowledge to make decisions based on scientific FACTS. They are asking us to stay home, wash our hands, keep our distance, and wear a mask when we’re out. I don’t get how anyone can believe that they’re just making it all up.

I have seen FACTS about Covid19’s death toll: over 2 million globally, nearly 400,000 in the US, 18,000 in Canada and over 1000 in BC. What restrictions have done is prevent the medical system from becoming overwhelmed ahead of the development, approval, and distribution of vaccine. As the development of treatments emerge, deaths are less common, but cases continue to increase in many places. The protesters obviously believe that their perceived loss of freedom is more important than protecting our vulnerable populations.

One woman held up a sign with a big red heart saying “LOVE – not fear” and It made me realize that some of these people, not the organizer to be sure, but probably most of the devotees believe that they are “the Good Guys”. Do they realize that their leader, David Lindsay is a criminal, not a lawyer and a vexatious litigant? And do they realize that he is associated with notorious white supremacist Paul Fromm? Fromm is in the news lately for making political contributions to a conservative politician who has now been thrown under the bus by Conservative leader Erin O’Toole. They are scrambling to distance themselves from the Proud Boys etc. since the fascist insurrection down south.

But I honestly don’t believe that masks and restriction are the real issue of the organizers. My suspicion is that they are hoping to radicalize some angry white folk into their fascist cell, from incels to anti- abortion activists, anti-feminists to gun control activists, Qanon and followers of false prophets.

I just hope and pray that these innocent people will realize that they are being misled now and stop showing up to the rallies. We all want to get through this with as few deaths as possible and unless everyone gets on board, we will see more deaths than we need to. Mr. Lindsay does not deserve the attention and support, it’s time for him to crawl back into his cesspool of hate and deception.

Suzie Coutts - West Kelowna


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