Protesters march in Montreal against public health restrictions

·2 min read
People take part in a demonstration opposing measures put in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in Montreal, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
People take part in a demonstration opposing measures put in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in Montreal, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

More than a thousand people took part in a demonstration calling for the end of mandatory health measures in Montreal on Saturday afternoon.

The protesters gathered around 1:30 p.m. in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex downtown, where the Health Canada offices are located.

The group marched along Saint-Laurent Boulevard to get to Jarry Park, carrying signs and waving flags.

Even though the city will move to an orange zone on Monday, meaning that gyms and indoor dining will reopen, people came out to denounce government restrictions and public health measures.

One protester carried a sign which read "make freedom legal again." Another sported the message "my body, my choice."

Many protesters had different reasons for joining in the march.

René Lajoie told CBC that he was there as a parent: "I want my kids to be able to take their masks off at school."

Lucie Mandeville, who helped organize the event, said that people in attendance were not against the measures, they only want the freedom to choose which rules they follow.

"I'm here to defend the people that suffer from the measures," she said, adding that it's been a tough year for businesses and people stuck inside.

The march began in downtown Montreal at 1:30 p.m.
The march began in downtown Montreal at 1:30 p.m.(Olivier Lefebvre/Radio-Canada)

This is the latest in a series of anti-measures protests which have taken place in the city.

Montreal police said the protest ended peacefully. So far, there are no reports of arrests or tickets being given out, despite people in the crowd not wearing masks or respecting distancing rules.

As the march made its way north, the crowd passed some people who were not impressed with their message.

Mathieu Orlando, who works as a patient attendant, said the province is on the right track and now is not the time to abandon measures.

"'We want our freedom?' Perfect! But get yourself a vaccine. Discouraging vaccinations like they're doing right now, I find it completely ridiculous," said Orlando.

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