Dolly Skailes stood outside her Nanaimo gym waving to the approaching convoy on Saturday.
The owner of Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street, Skailes is trying to be a positive smiling face in the anti-mandates protest that has, at times, become extremely hostile towards non-supporters and the media.
“These [are] peaceful protests and then you get these jerks in there that are extremists. And I’m talking both sides, I’m talking the left side and the right side too that are doing horrid things to people that should not be happening.”
A few blocks away CHEK News cameras captured protesters yelling “fake news go away” and “fake news is the real murderers.”
Skailes said that kind of behaviour is beyond unacceptable and wants the extremists gone from the protests.
“These people that are getting extreme about it need to get out of our protest,” she said. “We do not want extremists in our protest. We don’t want to hear about people being threatened in person. We want peace.”
The anger is something that pedestrian Dennis Dezell said was a shock to hear in his hometown.
“Absolutely horrible. This should be against the law. And I can only see it getting worse before we get something more enforced,” said Dezell.
According to Ottawa Police that extremism is leading protesters and making dismantling blockades dangerous.
On Saturday, police used pepper spray on protesters and were equipped with helmets and batons as they continued taking down the occupation around Parliament Hill.
Interim Ottawa police chief Steve Bell said 170 people have been arrested and pledged to trace everyone, who broke the law well after his city’s streets are clear.
Skailes is worried about how Canada will be when the dust settles and the protests end.
“You know what, I’m scared to death. I wanna go back to Norway. I don’t want to live here anymore. I don’t want to live in Canada anymore. I am ashamed to be in Canada for what’s happening,” she said.