Remember when several hundreds of protestors converged at the Vancouver Art Gallery without masks last month, during a pandemic?
On Friday, Vancouver Is Awesome shared news that those protesters are returning to the site for another go-round this weekend.
According to organizers, thousands of anti-mask advocates plan to gather at the “B.C. Freedom Mega Rally” Saturday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 18, to protest COVID-19 regulations including social distancing, quarantine, travel bans, and contact tracing – and demonstrators aren't just coming from the Metro Vancouver area.
Anti-mask and anti-vaccine advocates, 5G and QAnon conspiracy theorists, and far-right groups have expanded the protest call to citizens from all across the province.
Lead organizer Ryan Kulbaba said he expects the two-day demonstration to be the “biggest rally ever in British Columbia and Western Canada."
Currently, no law forces vaccinations or face masks on B.C. citizens.
Vancouver Police spokesperson Cst. Tania Visintin said the force is aware of the rally planned.
"Public safety is our number one concern. We'll be there should anything arise," she explained.
Here's what our readers had to say about these demonstrators and their “B.C. Freedom Mega Rally”:
"I hope it pours rain on them"
- Julia Hofmann
"These selfish people are not only putting themselves at risk but all the first responders who will be pulled to deal with this group."
- Luisa Liberatore
"I am stunned to read this. I know there are ignorant people who refuse to listen to common sense, but more than, say, 10 in the whole province is disgusting. Heavy fines and no medical care if they get sick."
- Nadia Danay
"In that case, [I] will avoid this area this weekend."
- Grace Siglos
"Really? This is worth protesting? What have we become. Just pathetic. Get over yourselves."
- Duane Kramer
"Right to not wear a mask? What about my right not to get sick and die because of their stupidity"
- Pam Winthrope
"When stupidity is given a chance to mobilize, it’s a scary sight"
- Jay Catterson
"This makes me so angry! I’m at home so sick and self isolating waiting for my CoVid results to come back. I followed all the rules and still got sick. How dare they"
- Cory Douglas
"I live in Vancouver and will not be anywhere near this event - People tending these events without taking precautions should have to isolate after to protect everyone else - kids of school age come to mind - they shouldn’t be allowed to go to school and potentially spread an outbreak."
- Sharon Auld-Ritchie
"I don’t get it. Other than wearing a mask in crowded situations, nothing has changed that much folks. Poor babies need to feel outraged about something I guess."
- Wayne McDonald
"Until 2020 I thought we were an advancing society. I think what is so depressing is suddenly realizing there’s to be a big lurching backward— the kind of lurch that might snuff out our chances of ultimately saving what matters and what can’t be replaced."
- Rogr Lee
"Wouldn't enjoy a crowd like that even if there wasn't covid to deal with! "
- Valerie Collier Langford
"They are demanding freedom of speech... like they live in a communist nation.. if they didn't have it they wouldn't have a protest. Pay no mind to this bs."
- Dustin Watson
"The lineup of expert speakers includes "discredited virologist Dr. Judy Mikovitz, homeopathic practitioner Dr. Robert Scott Bell, and alternative medicine practitioner Dr. Rashid Buttar". The fact that people with these credentials are trusted more than medical professionals speaks volumes about the failures of education in this country. All too frequently we confuse inconveniences and emergency measures as violations of our fundamental rights."
- Dave Musayelyan
"Look how lonely we are. We are willing to kill each other just to be a part of something."
- Randy Killick
"and their qualifications are........?"
- Bettina Alexander
"This is why my relatives in Asia think we are completely stupid people who have no idea how to handle virus outbreaks"
- Bucky AC
"These people have lost meaning and purpose in life which is said considering the times. people like that are very volatile and jump on with groups even when core believes don’t line up. Social thinking to be apart of something even though it running backwards. Soooo short sighted."
- Severin Samulski
"Shut it down before they can have it... and anyone that shows up should be fined the max amount possible... covidiots"
- Stacy Buster
"And this is why you never cut funding for education."
- Greyson Wang
"[H]uge fines for them. if they get sick, no MSP coverage. Let them pay out of their own pockets. It is like driving without a license, your insurance is void. hopefully their employers and insurance providers are aware."
- Maciej Wawszczak
"A bunch of selfish lunatics with little regard for others, their friends or their own family ... such a lack of humanity. STAY HOME"
- Joe Jax
"Entitlement at its finest... This isn't protesting oppression or rights... these are Ahole 4 year olds, who won't put their shoes on."
- JaXon Hawks
"Clearly these people have never actually had their rights infringed upon before if they think masks during a pandemic etc is unconstitutional Saw so many kids dragged along with their parents at the last one and I’m sure there will be more at this one. And then most of them go to school (where hopefully they’ll gain more sense than their parents ) but also potentially expose others to something picked up at the anti-masker rally. And yet the rally will go on because they have the right to peaceful protest."
- Helisa Duplassie
"You can't cure stupid, some of these people should read a little history and find out what Freedom and Liberty really entail."
- Marg Kennedy
- With files from Sarah Grochowski