Around 300 people attend anti-lockdown rally in Chatham
CHATHAM, ONT. -- A crowd of about 300 people gathered in downtown Chatham Monday afternoon for an anti-lockdown rally.
The event featured speeches from Independent MPP Randy Hillier and former Conservative, now Independent MP Derek Sloan.
“I have gone out to hundreds of these events, I’ve met thousands and thousands of people. I’ve never met one person at any of these events whose ever been sick,” Hillier says. “I’ve had parties at my house, you know? Nobody’s ever been sick.”
Organized outdoor gatherings are not permitted under Ontario’s current stay-at-home order.
Sloan says people are frustrated.
“More and more evidence is coming out to suggest that blanket lockdowns are not the way to go. Targeted measures? Sure! I mean, protect the elderly, protect the people who are most at risk, but quarantining healthy people has more harms than it does benefits and that’s basically what we are here to protest today,” he says.
Hillier says they will continue to tour the province, holding similar events in the coming weeks.
“Our borders are sealed. Our mobility is restricted. People are getting fined, arrested,” Hillier adds, “These are not hallmarks of Canada. These are not hallmarks of freedom or democracy. They’re hallmarks of a gestapo police state.”
Hillier and Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, spoke to hundreds Saturday at a ‘No More Lockdowns’ protest in Peterborough. They were reportedly among eight people ticketed by Peterborough police.
Bernier was not in attendance at the Chatham rally.
A similar event with more than 600 people in attendance was held in Stratford on Sunday.
“They can throw up their little barricades, they can throw up their bulldozer, we’ll go around them or we’ll go through them,” Hillier tells CTV News.
When Chatham-Kent police were asked by CTV News how they’d handle the protest a spokesperson said to contact the municipality’s bylaw enforcement team.
Calls to the Chatham-Kent bylaw department by CTV News have gone unreturned.