Convoy protesting vaccine mandates, restrictions descends on B.C. Legislature

Convoy protesting vaccine mandates, restrictions descends on B.C. Legislature
Photo credit: Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News

Hundreds protesting vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions descended on the B.C. Legislature on Saturday.

Horns could be heard endlessly blaring in and around the provincial capital building as people lined Belleville Street, waving flags and cheering passing vehicles supporting their cause.

The protest is in support of an ongoing truck convoy demonstration in Ottawa — called a “Freedom Convoy” — that demands an end to vaccine mandates and all other COVID-19 restrictions, such as mask-wearing and vaccine passports.

The vast majority of vehicles participating in Victoria were mostly pickup trucks, sedans and crossovers, along with the odd semi-truck or construction vehicle, driving around Belleville, Douglas and other nearby streets.

A small contingent of people showing support for health-care workers and vaccines gathered on the opposite side of Belleville Street.

Organizers say they are planning to stay overnight and are planning on locking down the front of the B.C. Legislature buildings. They say they are working with the Victoria Police Department to come up with an overnight plan. They also say have raised about $4,000 in funding.

CHEK News asked VicPD about the statement that officers are working with the convoy to come up with an overnight plan, and VicPD spokesperson Bowen Osoko said, “No matter what the protest subject, our liaisons will always talk with organizers to try to keep things safe, peaceful and lawful.”

More than 90 per cent of everyone over five who is eligible for vaccine in B.C. has received at least one dose of vaccine.

New data from the B.C. government shows that unvaccinated individuals — per 100,000 population after adjusting for age — accounted for the overwhelming majority (88.2 per 100,000) of hospitalizations compared to fully vaccinated individuals (19 per 100,000) over the past two weeks. Unvaccinated individuals — a significantly smaller group of the population — accounted for 20 per cent of all new cases in the past week (Jan. 27 to Feb. 2) in B.C., while fully vaccinated individuals accounted for 75.1 per cent of cases during the same period.

RELATED: Organizers of weekend convoy protest at B.C. Legislature planning for extended stay

Photo credit: Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News

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