Masked people dressed in white stormed a Toronto mall to protest COVID vaccines
A group of about a dozen people clad in white hazmat-like suits and expressionless masks roamed through a Toronto mall Wednesday.
It starts with people entering Fairview Mall from a parking lot. A deep voice comes on over a loudspeaker as the people lumber through the mall, arms outstretched, past closed shops.
"Thinking for yourself endangers the common good," the voice starts. "Body contact causes suffering."
A few confused looking people stop to watch the protest, some seem unclear what is happening until the voice says, "this is a protest."
The voice goes on to say "facial expression is excessive" and solitary confinement is safe. The voice says "restrictions of freedom" several times.
There are several antivaxxer comments such as "Everyone loves the pharmaceutical companies," and "Questioning the vaccine is murder."
Masks and lockdown measures are also mentioned.
"Questioning masks is murder," the voice says. "Big business is essential. The government is essential."
Near the end of the video they are surrounded by security guards and walked out of the mall. The protest appears to end peacefully with a group hug.
Fairview Mall did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the protest.
The video garnered many negative responses.
"This is the biggest cringe parade of the year!" one person said.
Others turned the table on the protesters calling them "sheep" and still others found the video laughable.
"They look more reminiscent of performance artists like Blue Man Group or Jabborwockee," another person said. "If I saw them while shopping I wouldn't immediately think 'protest' when I looked at these people. They look more like drama geeks trying to safely perform during a pandemic."
This protest, follows an Anti-masker Santa Claus Parade in Toronto and the growing number of protests is problematic. One researcher told CBC, the anti-maskers show a need for better health messaging.
"To see that there is a group of people in the Canadian population that is against masking, and to say that it infringes on their freedom, is taking the word out of context — it's actually an insult on all those civil rights heroes who fought for freedom," Dr. Sajjad Fazel, a public health researcher at the University of Calgary, told CBC.
It also comes as all of Ontario moves into a COVID-19 shutdown this week.
With more than 55,000 new cases and 1,827 deaths, the new shutdown is needed and protests are not.
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