To protest or not to protest

Counter-protestors showed up on 17 Avenue on the Beltline in Calgary to thwart the Calgary Freedom Central “Freedom Protest” that they have had since the start of the lockdowns.

Many of them had signs that showed support for AHS workers, and for healthcare for all. There was a healthcare worker that was in tears during the event. She stood back and watched the event unfold, and afterwards, couldn’t contain herself and continued crying, walking away. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it was because there was this group that stood up for healthcare system that is asking people to sacrifice a little to help the overall community, which has been largely ignored by the Freedom Protestors and Calgary Freedom Central. They have been working hard, only to be disrespected and treated like scum by Calgary Freedom Central.

The organization is called Community Solidarity Calgary, and they formed after a few residents in the neighbourhood got fed up with the protestors. Hunter Yaworsky, a media representative with Solidarity YYC, said they were there to “Support the communities, support the Beltline communities, to support our healthcare system, and to rally against the harassment and hatred coming from the Freedom Convoy.”

There were about a couple dozen people or so, compared to the two or three thousand people that were marching for the Freedom Protest. The president for the Calgary branch of Black Lives Matter, Adora Nwofor, along with noted Calgary activist Taylor Mcnallie, were in attendance to support Solidarity YYC.

It was a David vs Goliath moment as many people have had to deal with the protests for years now, and the group represented the frustration of the protests, but were much smaller than the Freedom Protest; however, and surprisingly, they turned away and left in another direction, with Ryan Audette shouting into his megaphone to ignore them and keep going.  Mcnallie said that they will continue to protest every week, and that “We’re going to see violence. We’ll see the police fighting each other at some point.” This was in reference to the police that follow the protestors of the Freedom Protest, and the police that stood guard with Solidarity YYC.

Prior to leaving for the rally, Audette said that they must “Hold the line, and hold the light,” meaning that those at the front of the pack must keep it steady and slow down for everyone to stay together, and to stay positive and keep spirits up and to reject aggression from anyone on the street. He also said that they are a peaceful group, and he wants it to stay that way.

It was right after that a couple people behind me shouted “Beat them up for freedom,” and “We’ll beat the freedom into them,” receiving cheers from their friends among the cheers directed toward Audette.

There was no violence on 17 Avenue, and I doubt those sentiments represent a large chunk of the group since Audette kept preaching respect and kindness, particularly towards the Sheldon Chumir, calling it a safe zone that should not be cause of attention to the group. All that happened was some tense exchanges from the protestors on both sides, and

While the protesting does have a glimmer of truth in freedoms being taken away, there is a lack of truth in why they are there at all; after all, the mandates within Alberta have been lifted, and the BA-2 variant is in a position that it shouldn’t cause ill to people that have received a vaccine, and combine that with anti-bodies from the BA-2 variant, and we as a population have done a decent job of minimizing the threat of COVID-19.

The protests are changing the goal post, in the same way they have claimed the post is changing with the response to COVID-19 (despite the fact more info and research requires adaptation and change). The signs carried by the Freedom Protestors were more in line with a theory called ‘The Great Reset,” which is a long-standing theory that the leaders of countries that attended the World Economic Forum are seeking to change the world in a drastic way, which would impact the freedoms that they have. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a part of this as said by those in the protests.

It’s interesting to note how they have gone from lockdowns, to vaccines, to mandates, to the trucker’s freedom, to now the Great Reset. It begs the question: when will their thirst be quenched?

Featured image: Protestors with Community Solidarity Calgary block the path of the Calgary Freedom Central protestors on 17 Avenue SW in downtown Calgary on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Taylor McNallie says that they will be there every week to block the Calgary Freedom Central protests, and expects tensions to rise each time they clash. Alberta mandates have been lifted, but organizer Ryan Audet said that they will keep marching everyday until all mandates around the country are lifted. Calgary Freedom Central has been around for the past two years, and they have continued to protest vaccines, mandates, and AHS. Community Solidarity Calgary formed after the neighbourhood got fed up with dealing with the weekly protests. (Photo by Alejandro Melgar/The Press)

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