By Colin McGregor
At the corner of Pie IX and Sherbrooke East, in the east end of Montréal, about a couple of hundred freedom convoy types and a few trucks parked themselves on a sunny Sunday afternoon. They waved flags of all description: Canadian flags (some upside down), Trump MAGA flags, a Patriotes flag, and lots of fleur-de-lys in evidence. They listened to speeches, many of which were given in English, calling upon listeners to ignore the media and stop wearing masks and taking vaccines for COVID. They were noisy but peaceful. At the end, before dispersing, they danced in the streets to piped-in music.
When I stumbled upon the freedom convoy, a.k.a. rolling thunder rally, I took some photos and listened to some of the speeches. I was wearing a mask, and I was yelled at in English by a protestor who told me, “Don’t you know what those masks do to the environment? Birds get hold of them and choke. You hate the environment!”
There was a discreet police presence, many of whom were on bicycles. At one point they asked one of the truckers to stop revving his noisy engine, and he complied.
One of the speakers claimed that many of those who had been vaccinated for COVID are currently dying of AIDS in hospitals, a fact your government doesn’t want you to know. I won’t repeat some of the other assertions made at this rally, not wanting to air this stuff.
At a certain point, I gave up and took a walk in the Montréal Botanical Gardens, which is also on this corner. The shouts of the demonstration could be heard in the distance, a stark contrast to the placid natural beauty of the Gardens.
There were geese and robins in the Garden, but I saw no birds choking on discarded masks.