The Weather Network
May. 20, 2022 | Friday
Editorials and Opinions
Editorial: 'Anti-lockdown' rally was filled with convoluted nonsense

The people who attended the anti-lockdown rally on the weekend should be ashamed and embarrassed.

Regardless of your stance on lockdowns, the rally was a catalyst for every trope you can imagine of alt-right, dark web, fringe and downright idiotic conspiracy theories.

Speakers seemed not to be able to pick a topic, and rather than being against lockdowns, it became a cesspool of misinformation.

A cacophony of dangerous ideas that leave anyone without the ability to think critically in a worse place.

There were children, teens and seniors in the crowd. Not one person wore a mask.

Within the first minute of arriving at Queenston Heights, someone confronted our reporter (me) for wearing a mask.

“This is a mask-free zone, buddy,” said one angry guy who looked like he was on steroids.

When I didn’t bother to address him, he said, “Probably a left-winger.”

Such is the attitude of the people attending these types of rallies.

People were talking about Donald Trump getting back into office this term like there is actually a chance of that happening.

People were spreading false information to each other about vaccine-related deaths (out of more than 31 million doses in Canada, only 1,719 have had serious adverse effects. That’s about 0.005 per cent of all doses administered).

Church groups visited and preached outdated, unscientific rhetoric about vaccines.

Beata O’Connell, the woman who admitted to running maskless art classes for children in NOTL during lockdowns in March, preached falsely that Canada is becoming a communist state. On the contrary, democracy is very much alive.

And socialist principles have always been a priority for Canada, so nothing has changed.

Maxime Bernier soaked up the opportunity to pander to the crowd of dolts, most of whom didn’t appear to know the difference between a political rally and a protest.

One kind person threatened to slap me for taking photos in a public park. Another suggested he would just steal my camera.

Luckily, that didn’t happen.

Another person accused me of wearing a mask to “conceal” my identity and apparently didn’t “feel comfortable” with me taking photos, and asked me to leave. When I said it’s a free public park, she got visibly upset and told me again to leave.

The irony that they were supposed to be rallying for freedom must have been lost on her.

And any rational person should have known the mask isn’t for anonymity, it was for protection against a sea of Darwin Award nominees.

Others filled their fantasies about Bill Gates trying to establish a “new world order,” without the knowledge that the man has almost single-handedly eradicated malaria from the face of the planet.

Stupidity was in abundance. And it was alarming, saddening and sort of scary.

So what can we do about it? Well, nothing really. Contrary to what these folks tell each other, Canada still is a free country. We have the right to assemble, we have the right to believe whatever we want, no matter how illegitimate.

I’m glad I was there to tell this story. But it’s a sad chapter in human history and I’m not sure it’s possible to fix or counter-balance the ignorance of these people.