A massive anti-vaccine demonstration outside of Vancouver General Hospital has sparked a public outcry on social media.
Over a thousand people gathered outside of the city's largest hospital Wednesday (Sept. 1) afternoon to protest the province's public health orders on vaccines and masking.
Described as a "world wide walkout movement" for "health freedom" by organizers, the protest was one of several in British Columbia, including a massive demonstration in Kamloops.
After blocking entrances to many of the facility's key arteries, including those at neighbouring BC Cancer, the protestors moved to Vancouver City Hall. They also marched down the northbound lane of the Cambie Street bridge, escorted by police.
The message of Vancouver's protest was broad with representation for almost every denomination of conspiracy theory in attendance. Overall though the crowd focused on anti-vaccine and anti-government. Some Q-Anon shirts were spotted in the crowd along with children carrying signs reading "My Body My Choice." Other signs ranged from comparing the Canadian government to fascist Nazis and Communist dictatorships (though those ideas are politcally opposed).
Numerous people took to social media following the protest, with many of them expressing outrage that the demonstrators would target the city's health facilities. A number of them noted that people who were receiving surgeries, fighting cancer, and undergoing a host of other series treatments were unable to exit the hospital safely due to the sweeping crowd.
While a number of individuals mentioned that people have the right to protest — regardless of what they might be protesting — others stated that they should have chosen a different location.
With files from Brendan Kergin and Cameron Thomson.