Anti-vax parents protested at Ontario education minister's home but nobody knows why
A small group of anti-vax protesters has been taking their fight to the doorstep of Ontario politicians, and their most recent target is the province's Education Minister Stephen Lecce, hosting multiple protests outside his York Region home this week.
Lecce's latest headache came Wednesday evening when a group of about a dozen protesters showed up on the sidewalk outside his home, blaring megaphones, sirens, and yelling through the evening.
It looks like there’s fewer than a dozen “protesting” outside the home of @Sflecce, including at least one kid.— Caryma Sa'd - Lawyer + Political Commentator (@CarymaRules) January 13, 2022
In this clip the Minister of Education is threatened with jail & God, and gets called “ballless” “cockroach” and a slur (I think).#cdnpoli #antivaxxers #Toronto pic.twitter.com/CnWjSeThTc
But the most recent protest saw parents introduce an ace up their sleeves that is proving contentious, bringing their children to participate in a rhetoric-fueled demonstration that included some pretty age-inappropriate language.
It's the presence of children that's really concerning to lawyer and political commentator Caryma S'ad, who tells blogTO, "a young boy in sub-zero temperatures banging pots and pans outside the home of an elected official speaks to the type of parenting decisions being normalized by this group."
"At one point, the boy took the megaphone to voice his frustration with online learning and say his friends were jealous because of his mask exemption," says S'ad.
Why are there kids at this protest? And I don’t like Lecce more than any normal human but leave the houses alone! ESP for the neighbours! He’s literally made every #antivax happy by opening school so move on elsewhere now! #COVIDIOTS https://t.co/F6TzP0E1HJ— Welcome 2 tdot Insigne! 🇮🇹 (@Mari19821) January 13, 2022
The demonstration came just hours after the minister announced children will return to school in-person next week without any mandatory vaccination requirement, something one would have guessed the protesters would be happy about.
Ummm they didn't see the press conference? They won didn't they?— JackieContest (@ContestJean) January 13, 2022
It's unclear from their chants and slogans what exactly was being protested, and perhaps the handful of attendees had not yet received the memo of this latest announcement.
Over what? They're back in school on Monday with no mandatory vaccination required.— Neo-Leigh (@leighfromcanada) January 13, 2022
What's the problem?
Even before the heated Wednesday demonstration, a spokesperson for Lecce was speaking out against the protests, telling blogTO on Tuesday, "Over the past year, Minister Lecce's neighbours have been subjected to regular protesting outside their homes."
The statement calls out protesters for "targeting and harassing innocent people who have nothing to do with the government's decision-making" and makes it clear that while people have the right to protest, "this continued harassment of innocent members of the public has no place in Ontario."
Many critics of Lecce are speaking out against the demonstrations, one even comparing them to stalking and harassment and calling for the protestors to be arrested.
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