Another truck convoy is expected to return to the Island on Saturday, after an estimated 5,000 people drove to the legislature to protest COVID mandates on Jan. 29.
The social media posts describe the Island-long trek for truck convoy drivers, with vehicles meeting shortly after 6 a.m. in Campbell River in order to make it to Victoria by 11:30.
Those who work in downtown Victoria say they are worried about another truck convoy protest, including Starbucks supervisor, Lily Cohn, who had a negative interaction with protestors last weekend.
“He starts yelling at me, and tells me that I’m ugly in my mask,” Cohn said.
She says she is still shaken after she dealt with numerous protesters who refused to wear masks, including one man who yelled obscenities at her, calling her a Nazi.
“He’s like big, and we’re not, you know. We’re all pretty smallish women,” Cohn said. “And so, we’re kind of not having it. Eventually, he leaves.”
Fed up with the continuing harassment of his staff, Steamship Grill and Starbucks General Manager Rich Becker called 9-1-1. Twice.
And he’s told by the dispatcher that unless an assault occurred, police would not attend.
“Called them back, and I got a second operator this time. And again, ‘that’s not really an emergency. We have to wait until someone’s been assaulted before we can send someone’,” Becker recalls the operator telling him.
Victoria Police say they don’t have a record of the call, but are following up with E-Comm 911.
In light of this weekend’s convoy, Victoria student Cole Tresoor wants to do something different.
“I have never held a protest sign in my life. I’ve never been to a protest that I can recall,” Tresoor said.
He’s organizing what he describes as a positive, peaceful, grassroots protest at the Legislature.
It’s part of a cross-country effort to push back against hateful messaging associated with the truck convoys.
“We would encourage people to bring their positivity to positive signs, their words of encouragement, words of solidarity, and their words of compassion for everyone.”
Tresoor will be at the cenotaph located in front of the Legislature this Saturday shortly after 11 a.m.