Anti-mask protesters take to the streets in Calgary to fight COVID-19 restrictions

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Anti-mask protesters take to the streets in Calgary to fight COVID-19 restrictions

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This article details one of the numerous ‘freedom marches’ which took place in Calgary Alberta, Canada. These people were protesting in response to the government lockdowns, mask mandates and regulations to help limit the spread of Covid-19. However, what is interesting in this particular article is the reference to the multiplicity of causes behind each protestor; that protestors had different causes, and reasons for showing up. People marched for the obvious ‘anti-mask’ causes, yet others would protest for the ‘Wexit’ movement, which is the desire to establish either an independent Albertan ‘republic’ or join the U.S. as the 51st state. This item is important as it demonstrates how the pandemic sceptic movements of Calgary Alberta were viewed in a negative light; more importantly how these movements often co-opted other fringe movements such as the Albertan separatist movement. Similarly, the vitriol of these protestors is on display, as the Calgary freedom marchers have been notable for their behaviour of spitting, coughing and screaming at passersby, police and local businesses as evident in this particular story. Similarly, many believe these mask-less movements are super spreader events which are contributing to the spread of the virus in several urban centers throughout the province of Alberta, such as Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. This article provides substance to the pandemic sceptics of Alberta, Canada as no different to the anti-maskers of the United States; as uploading this, many of the organizations who attended and organized these events are currently organizing a massive march throughout the province which has been marketed to appear alike the tiki-torch rally of the far right in Charlottesville in 2017. I believe this article would fit best in the social justice collection to demonstrate the public/media response to the pandemic sceptics marching in the streets of Albertan cities.

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This item was submitted on January 22, 2021 by Padraic Cohen using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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