Large anti-mask protest blocks downtown Kelowna traffic

Anti-mask protesters blocked traffic downtown Kelowna today. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)Anti-mask protesters blocked traffic downtown Kelowna today. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Anti-mask protesters blocked traffic downtown Kelowna today. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)Anti-mask protesters blocked traffic downtown Kelowna today. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Anti-mask protesters blocked traffic downtown Kelowna today. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)Anti-mask protesters blocked traffic downtown Kelowna today. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

A large group of anti-mask and anti-government protesters blocked traffic in downtown Kelowna today (Dec. 12).

The group, in the hundreds, gathered at Stuart Park before setting off north on Water St. Traffic was halted for some time. Protesters were gathered close to each other, not wearing masks.

Story continues below.

READ MORE: Interior Health reports 99 new cases of COVID-19

RCMP were stationed around the gathering, and at one point blocked vehicles onto Water St. due to all the foot traffic across the road.

Some participants yelled ‘freedom’ at cars driving by, and banged on pots and pans.

An RCMP officer on scene confirmed before the parade started at around 1:30 p.m. that no fines had been issued to participants at that point. However, he stated a $2,300 fine is on the table for those violating B.C. public health restrictions on social gatherings.

Looking towards the direction of the protest, he explained he was ordered to attend, adding that he joined the Mounties to protect the public, but that this situation was ‘unfortunate.’ He’s worried about putting himself in a situation that could in turn put his own family at risk.

Many walking by in the parade attempted to fist-bump him or shake his hand, but the officer politely refused.

Reports later indicated they were also blocking Highway 97 traffic, from Water St. to Pandosy St.

READ MORE: ‘This too shall pass:’ B.C. residents work through loss of holiday gatherings, traditions

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
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