With Premier Ford's declaration of a second state of emergency in the province on January 7, speculation surrounded what would occur when the protesters gathered — as they have each Saturday since that first demonstration last Spring — this weekend.
Toronto police issued a warning to attendees early on Saturday morning through a statement, declaring that the COVID-19 pandemic was “not just a public health issue; it is a public safety issue,” adding that “participating in large gatherings, including protests, is not just in contravention of these orders but also puts attendees and the broader community at risk,” before declaring that when these events occurred, police would be present and ready to enforce these orders.
As had been the case on so many prior occasions, Rebel News' David Menzies and cameramen were downtown at Yonge-Dundas Square this afternoon to cover what happened.
Police formed a perimeter around the square itself, and made an announcement over a loudspeaker to the crowd that by the power granted through emergency orders, the gathering was prohibited, and urged the crowd to disperse immediately as a protester cited Section 2 of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms in response to the officer.
One man was dragged away and detained by a number of officers, loudly questioning why he was being detained as the group of police worked to cuff him while a crowd formed. “This is disgusting,” one protester shouted.
An officer even grabbed a Rebel cameraman, and threatened him with arrest.
Assaulting my reporters is not “public safety”. It is a crime. You have disgraced yourself and the badge today. You have violated your oath. https://t.co/T2K4aiTQ6W
Hugs Over Mask protest organizer Kellyanne Wolfe was arrested while speaking to the crowd, telling the officers that, in her opinion, detaining her would be assault. Unsurprisingly, this did not deter the officers from moving on her.
Pastor Hildebrandt, after having received tickets in the past for his involvement in the protests against the lockdown, was undeterred by those previous incidents, arriving to greet demonstrators downtown, leaning out a window and shaking hands.
The man in the red and black plaid that was arrested in an earlier video will be featured in an upcoming interview with David Menzies, as he became the latest person to join Rebel News'FightTheFines.com campaign.
The protesters moved their demonstration over to Queen's Park, the house of the provincial government and original site of the anti-lockdown protests, where more police were set up fencing and stood watch.