A Huge Trucker Convoy Protest Is Happening In Quebec City & So Is Carnaval (VIDEOS)
Quebec City police gave out 40 tickets on Friday.
A massive protest linked to the trucker convoy in Ottawa, also referred to as 'Freedom Convoy 2022,' is taking place in Quebec City this weekend — the same weekend as Carnaval de Quebec (Quebec Winter Carnival). The convoy started in response to vaccine mandates for certain Canadian truck drivers but has grown to encompass demonstrators with a variety of anti-vaxx mandate, anti-lockdown stances.
Protesters and trucks reportedly began arriving in Quebec City on Thursday night. On Friday, a Service de police de la Ville de Québec (SPVQ) spokesperson said Quebec City police were able to "ensure and protect the right to demonstrate legally and peacefully while preserving the safety of the demonstrators, other road users, homes and the public domain," particularly around the National Assembly of Québec where demonstrators have been gathering.
Quebec Police gave out a total of 40 tickets — 34 traffic violations and 6 municipal by-laws — during Friday's demonstration but no major incidents were reported.
On Saturday, with the SPVQ having closed roads and diverted traffic around the National Assembly, thousands of people took to the street and dozens of trucks parked outside the provincial parliament.
Photos and videos show people waving flags, banging drums and holding signs with sayings such as "let us breathe let us live," as horns honk in the background. Other photos and videos show protesters and Carnaval attendees co-existing peacefully in close proximity to each other.
A spokesperson for Carnaval told MTL Blog that protests had not discrupted the festivities and "crowds cohabited in respect."
Despite that Ottawa protests have led to disorderly conduct, including the defacement of the Terry Fox statue and alleged desecration of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, organizer Bernard “Rambo” Gauthier is seen in a video asking protesters to stay peaceful. Quebec City mayor Bruno Marchand told CTV News that people were respecting this request.
“They’re doing it peacefully, there’s a lot of families right there. Everything is alright, people at the carnival are secure. It’s possible to do both at the same time. That’s what we were expecting. Everyone is acting respectfully so that’s perfect for now,” Mayor Marchand is quoted as saying.
CTV also reported spotting "a small number of individuals wearing merchandise related to the controversial nationalist group La Meute."
In a press conference on February 4, Premier François Legault said the Quebec convoy is "nothing comparable at all" to the Ottawa protests, and that he plans on dealing with illegally-placed trucks with "a lot of tow trucks."
"We made sure with Mayor Bruno Marchand and the police [that] we have a lot of tow trucks ready if necessary to eventually remove trucks. We will not tolerate trucks preventing citizens from circulating at all," Premier Legault said.
(1/2) MANIFESTATION | Compte tenu de l'affluence importante de pi\u00e9tons dans le secteur de l'@Assnatqc, une partie de la circulation sera d\u00e9vi\u00e9e. Le tout afin d'assurer la s\u00e9curit\u00e9 de tous.pic.twitter.com/fvZj0x48sU— Service de police de la Ville de Qu\u00e9bec (@Service de police de la Ville de Qu\u00e9bec) 1644090468
A 'Convoy For Freedom' protest also took place in Toronto on Saturday, resulting in someone getting arrested.
The SPVQ is expected to release an update with more information about Saturday's demonstration, including the number of tickets issued, later today.
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