- Broad spectrum of motivations and ideologies present.
- Thousands of demonstrators marched through downtown Montreal Saturday to protest against the Quebec government’s mandatory mask regulations.
The protesters — the vast majority of whom did not wear masks — carried signs and wore t-shirts indicating a variety of motivations and ideologies in opposition to face coverings.
Some demanded freedom, some were critical of the Coalition Avenir Québec government, Premier François Legault or public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda, and others espoused various theories about COVID-19 and U.S. politics.
“I find it illogical,” said Nathalie Warren, who travelled from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. for the protest.
“Say we go into a restaurant,” she said. “We walk in wearing a mask, because, what, COVID is there? Then we sit down and we can take the masks off because, what, the COVID is gone?”
Under the government’s regulations, masks are mandatory in restaurants when clients are moving around because it is harder to maintain a physical distance from others in those instances, provincial health authorities have said. When a client is seated, they may remove their mask as long as they are at a two-metre distance from others.
“We want our liberty. We want the right to say yes to a vaccine. We want the right to decide. It’s our life, it’s our bodies, it’s up to us,” said Warren.
“I’m not OK with children going to school wearing masks, and physical distancing,” said Irène Sarmiento. “It makes no sense. The children aren’t to blame. The population is being abused.”