Approximately 200 people gathered in Smithers Dec. 12 to demonstrate against COVID restrictions. (Deb Meissner photo)

Large group rallies in Smithers against COVID-19 restrictions

Approximately 200 people gathered Dec. 12 for “Unmasking our Freedoms” event

Flying the Canadian flag, and carrying placards, men, women and children gathered at Central Park in Smithers Dec 12 for an ”Unmasking our Freedoms” rally.

People drove from Kitimat, Terrace, Burns Lake and Houston to join in the Smithers rally of approximately 150 – 200 people.

Organizer Angela Young told the people gathered that they were not there to protest.

“We are here for a freedom rally, to celebrate our Charter rights as sovereign souls,” she said.

“We are not gathered here from fear but from love.”

Rod Taylor who recently ran in the provincial election for the Christian Heritage Party, was one of the speakers.

“I am coming to you after attending a pro-freedom rally in Vancouver last week, to affirm your rights of all kinds,” he said.

“We are here because we are standing up for our right not to get an unknown and uncertain vaccine, we are tired of unnecessary line ups due to store occupancy restrictions.”

“We disagree with economic lock downs and situations that are causing more harm, like family violence, suicides, overdoses and cancelled surgeries.”

“We want to be able to assemble in our churches, to give each other comfort and help during these times; it is our right.”

Jody Craven, from the BC Libertarian Party and former federal election candidate for the People’s Party of Canada, came from Kitimat to show his “support and solidarity,” he said.

He encouraged those present that “freedom takes courage” and not to be silenced when governments or others try to deny rights, such as freedom of thought and speech, and the freedom of religion and association.

“We will get there folks, keep believing,” he said.

After singing O Canada the group walked down main street, then gathered with their signs along Hwy 16.

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