Conflicts & War

Protests by anti-vaxxers and radical groups spread across Canada

By Julio Cesar Rivas

Toronto, Canada, Feb 4 (EFE).- Protests by anti-vaxxers and radical groups continue to grow in Canada with the arrival of a new convoy of protesters in Quebec City on Friday, while other groups prepared to enter Toronto and Ottawa over the next few hours.

In Quebec City, large trucks were parked around the regional parliament or the National Assembly, and the authorities expected the protest to continue throughout the weekend.

Quebec province Premier Francois Legaul said the authorities would not tolerate the repeated cases of harassment suffered by the citizens of Ottawa at the hands of some of the members of the so-called “Freedom Convoy” that arrived in the Canadian capital last weekend.

Meanwhile, in Toronto, authorities alerted against thousands of anti-vaxxers protesting during the weekend in Canada’s largest city, although groups of them were already seen around the regional parliament building on Friday itself.

On the internet, protest organizers have called for trucks and vehicles at various meeting points around Toronto to form a convoy that will try to reach the regional parliament on Saturday.

In response, the Toronto Police has closed the streets around so-called Hospital Row, a series of blocks in the vicinity of the regional parliament, which houses several of the major hospitals in Canada’s largest city.

The city authorities are apprehensive about the demonstrations blocking the access of ambulances and emergency vehicles to the hospitals and harassing health professionals on their way to work.

In Ottawa, the authorities expect some 2,000 protesters and an additional 300 to 400 trucks to arrive over the weekend, joining the hundreds of people and around 250 trucks already in the city for a week.

Meanwhile, the funding and organization of the protests has raised alarm among the Canadian authorities.

Ottawa Police chief Peter Sloly said at a press conference Friday that the protest in the Canadian capital is highly organized, with multiple operations centers, both in Canada and abroad, and with funding from around the world.

On Thursday, the Canadian Parliament unanimously voted to investigate the origin of donations received by Canada Unity, the organizers of the so-called Freedom Convoy.

The GoFundMe donation campaign has already raised 10 million Canadian dollars (about $7.89 million) to fund the protests.

A parliamentary committee is expected to ask the GoFundMe leaders to provide details of donations received and measures taken to prevent the money from being distributed to groups or individuals that promote activities fueling extremism, hatred or violence. EFE


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