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VIDEO: Vernon protest swells in support of convoy calling for end of COVID-19 mandates

Hundreds gathered in Polson Park Saturday in support of the convoy that made its way to Ottawa
Hundreds turned out at Vernon’s Polson Park in support of a truck convoy that made its way to Ottawa in protest of COVID-19 mandates Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Protesters gathered at Vernon’s Polson Park by the hundreds Saturday, to show support for the “Freedom Convoy” that rolled into Ottawa to protest vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions.

The crowd well exceeded the usual Saturday protests at the park, with people lining both sides of the highway carrying signs and cheering loudly, imploring passing truckers to honk their horns. Several commercial trucks sporting Canadian flags made a loop around the block and drove past the crowd multiple times.

The rally coincided with a much larger demonstration in Ottawa, where thousands of protesters have gathered at Parliament Hill for what started out as a protest against mandated vaccination for cross-border travel, but has since evolved into a protest against vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions in general.

Drone footage captured by Patrick Vance and shared to the Morning Star shows a bird’s eye view of Polson Park during the protest.

Police were not on scene during the Vernon protest, which went over peacefully.

Many of the signs at the protest took aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but freedom of choice was the most common message. A number of people were waving Canada flags, with some flown upside down.

One protester named Joseph, who declined to provide his last name, said he was at the rally to oppose all vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions.

“Protect the vulnerable, that’s it. You don’t need to control the healthy,” he said.

Earlier Saturday morning, a convoy of trucks left Vernon and went through Kelowna, with the goal of reaching the Canada-U.S. border by around 3:15 p.m.

In Lumby, a similar convoy took place starting at the local industrial park, with roughly 40 vehicles taking part as of 1 p.m.

READ MORE: Thousands gather on Parliament Hill for protest against vaccine mandates

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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