By Greg Bobinec on January 5, 2021.
Dozens of protesters from the Freedom Rally joined together at Lethbridge City Hall on Saturday to protest the ongoing restrictions and regulations put in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Protesters could be seen walking through the streets of downtown, and were heard through their chants and singing. Many voiced their concerns about the restrictions and how they have felt like they are being subjected to government propaganda.
“The so-called rules that they have put in place do not directly mesh with what is going on and so there is a number of people protesting today,” said Karen Cox, a protester. “We are sick and tired of this, and we want to be able to pick and choose what is right for us. The government is not our parents, and I’m not four years old. I think that people have been propagated to, and you can’t turn on the television without seeing some ridiculous commercial about this. You can’t turn on the news without seeing cases.”
With a flood of information on the pandemic spreading throughout social media every minute, it creates a larger grey area between the truth and false narrative, protesters say. They feel that because of this grey area, along with the handling of the pandemic by the government, communities are facing more harm than these public health restrictions are helping.
“Just because somebody tells me something doesn’t mean that I have to take it as truth. If I find it as strange, I’ll see where it takes me whether I like the answer to it or not,” said Cox. “(I believe) we are creating false-positive cases and making mandates for people that will let down their economy, can’t be with your friends and family, feel love and see smiles, we are torturing our children because of a false thing. I am always willing do have an open discussion with someone who thinks differently, but I think I speak for everyone here when I say that we just want the truth, and we want to be able to have an open discussion about it and prove it.”
Although the COVID-19 restrictions, measures and lockdowns were put in place for the overall health and safety of all Albertan’s, Cox says that the restrictions are only hindering communities.
“Only a few people who have died from COVID in Alberta and didn’t have pre-existing conditions,” she said. “We have 4.5 million people who live in Alberta. Everybody’s life matters but we do not close down a whole situation for those few people, when there is the rest of us,” says Cox. “In the environment of what we are living in, everyone’s lives don’t matter. People always die. . .. We are humans, we are meant to be born, live and die. We don’t just disregard the rest of the world for a few people, we don’t and we can’t. For people who can’t see that, I just don’t understand.”
With the increase in domestic violence cases, poverty, suicides and depression since the pandemic started, protesters feel like their livelihood, their businesses and communities deserve better.
“Life is full of risk, I am a health and safety consultant, that is what I do, the basic fundamental for any health and safety thing is to determine the probability of something happening, and if that something does happen, the severity of it,” said Cox. “People are starving, putting people into poverty, people are losing their businesses after spending all of their money and time building it to have them lay off their employees. It affects so many other things, and how is that okay?”
Over the weekend, Canada surpassed 600,000 COVID-19 cases. Alberta has had 1,046 deaths throughout the province from the virus, and Canada overall has seen 15,927 deaths.
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