Early in Spring of 2020, protesters began showing up on the lawns of Ontario's legislature, Queen's Park, to protest the lockdown measures enacted by Premier Doug Ford to combat the developing COVID-19 pandemic.
Since those early days of demonstration, the Toronto Police Service has largely been lenient with their enforcement on the protesters as a whole, though a number of individuals, like prominent speakers at the rallies Chris Sky or Aylmer, Ontario Church of God pastor Henry Hildebrandt have received tickets for their involvement.
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 getting ready to dispurse the protesters. Reporting for @RebelNewsOnline pic.twitter.com/LYKUyS2sYf— Mocha Bezirgan (@BezirganMocha) January 16, 2021
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.
Toronto police arrested an anti lockdown protester. Reporting for @RebelNewsOnline pic.twitter.com/N0uMxsK6Sv— Mocha Bezirgan (@BezirganMocha) January 16, 2021
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— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) January 16, 2021
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.
Toronto Police rushed into the crowd to arrest organizer Kellyanne Wolfe. What's going on in #Toronto @TPSOperations pic.twitter.com/Oh8B0M1ZCv— Efron Monsanto (@monsanto2000) January 16, 2021
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.
Here is the moment Pastor @aylmerpastor showed up to the march. #Toronto pic.twitter.com/tWSMQ3WX1J— Efron Monsanto (@monsanto2000) January 16, 2021
Protesters began marching through the streets of downtown after the speakers had concluded and the police had blocked the square with a large presence.
The Anti-lockdown crowd begins to march downtown #toronto despite multiple arrests by @TPSOperations pic.twitter.com/3VhpzpxKs0— Efron Monsanto (@monsanto2000) January 16, 2021
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.
Tune in later at @RebelNewsOnline for our latest https://t.co/eHmzrxznPa case. Robert was one of the people arrested today at the Anti-lockdown protest in #Toronto— Efron Monsanto (@monsanto2000) January 16, 2021
He was issued two fines from @TPSOperations over $1000.
Exclusive interview coming from @TheMenzoid pic.twitter.com/IcDb26Inl8
Protesters headed to Toronto Mayor John Tory's condo, with police setting up barricades around the building.
The current scene outside of @JohnTory’s condo. Police have put barricades around the entrance. #onpoli #topoli #lockdown pic.twitter.com/gEfmXjfEkf— Lincoln Jay (@lincolnmjay) January 16, 2021
Frustrated with his vocal support for the lockdown, protesters chanted for the police to arrest Mayor Tory.
Protesters chanting "arrest @JohnTory!" in front of his condo #Toronto #antilockdown pic.twitter.com/JYmJVFMmNq— Alex Yelizarov (@alxyeee) January 16, 2021
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.
The current scene outside the Ontario Legislature at Queens Park.#onpoli #topoli #lockdown @RebelNewsOnline pic.twitter.com/MZESZB2OS3— Lincoln Jay (@lincolnmjay) January 16, 2021
The assembled crowd sang Canada's national anthem as the march concluded.
The Anti-lockdown march ends at Queens Park and they begin to sing O'Canada #Toronto pic.twitter.com/rMnAPkgx4O— Efron Monsanto (@monsanto2000) January 16, 2021
Having been a significant presence at the Adamson Barbecue shutdown, and waiting by at a gym that reopened in defiance of the lockdown, the Toronto Police Service mounted unit was again on scene.
Toronto police have deployed the mounted unit towards the Anti-Lockdown march which has just left Queens Park #Toronto— Efron Monsanto (@monsanto2000) January 16, 2021
Reporting for @RebelNewsOnline pic.twitter.com/SBMeiThERs
Some demonstrators have now moved to the Bell Media — owners of CTV News and CP24 — studios to continue the protest.
Bell media studios is the next stop for the anti lockdown protesters. Reporting for @RebelNewsOnline pic.twitter.com/b7xHyQy5cm— Mocha Bezirgan (@BezirganMocha) January 16, 2021
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