Shomporko Desk:– Thousands of demonstrators marched through downtown Montreal Saturday to protest against the Quebec government’s mandatory mask regulations.
The protesters by far most of whom didn’t wear masks conveyed signs and wore shirts showing an assortment of inspirations and philosophies contrary to face coverings.
Some demanded freedom, some were incredulous of the Coalition Avenir QuÃ©bec government, Premier FranÃ§ois Legault or public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda, and others embraced different hypotheses about COVID-19 and U.S. politics.
“I find it illogical,” said Nathalie Warren, who travelled from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. for the protest.”Say we go into a restaurant,” she said. “We walk in wearing a mask, because, what, COVID is there?
Then we sit down and we can take the masks off because, what, the COVID is gone?”Under the government’s regulations, masks are mandatory in restaurants when clients are moving around because it is harder to maintain a physical distance from others in those instances, provincial health authorities have said.
When a client is seated, they may remove their mask as long as they are at a two-metre distance from others. “We want our liberty. We want the right to say yes to a vaccine. We want the right to decide. It’s our life, it’s our bodies, it’s up to us,” said Warren. “I’m not OK with children going to school wearing masks, and physical distancing,” said IrÃ¨ne Sarmiento. “It makes no sense. The children aren’t to blame.
The population is being abused.”So far, the Quebec government has not made masks mandatory for students heading back to school. At previous anti-mask protests in the province over the last month or so, demonstrators argued that mandatory mask rules are not fair and that the threat of COVID-19 is not as serious as is being reported.
On Saturday, some people made a show of embracing each other or exchanging double-cheek kisses. In the past, the Quebec government has said that people are allowed to protest. On July 27, responding to protests the previous weekend, Deputy Premier GeneviÃ¨ve Guilbault said there would be “consequences” if there continued to be incidents where people “transgress the rules of public health.”
“It has nothing to do with taking away anyone’s right to protest or express themselves,” Guilbault said. “It’s obvious that anybody can protest. But nobody has the right to put anyone else’s health in danger.”
Photo credit: Chantale Giguere
News source: CBC News