freedom rally

Man caught on video putting up stickers featuring hate symbols around Toronto

Though it's been months since the days of vaccine passports and mask mandates in Ontario, a select few continue to protest against various levels of government and the ways they've dealt with the pandemic, taking to the streets of Toronto with megaphones and signs in the name of "freedom."

While most people have learned to stay unbothered regarding these events by now, there are some recent actions by a few members of what appears to be a fringe minority that are proving to be problematic.

Along with "F*** Trudeau" and Gadsden flags there are other, more extreme forms of what some are calling propaganda that demonstrators have been toting along with them, including some bearing hateful symbols.

One man was caught on video this past weekend placing stickers on various pieces of public property at one of these protests, some of which depicted Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland with a swastika on her forehead, alongside liberal Hungarian-American businessman and philanthropist George Soros with "666" on his.

After following behind the man while filming along Bloor Street in Toronto, one bystander asked the unnamed elderly man, "sir, are you using the swastika?" "Help yourself," he seems to say quietly, holding out his stack of stickers.

After taking one, the filmer asks what the man's thoughts are on using the swastika in the imagery. "You know you shouldn't be using the swastika, right?" he asks, to which the man replies "this is Christina [sic] Freeland, her grandfather was a Nazi, 100 per cent. What's the problem with the truth?"

All the while, chants of "freedom," "wake up, Canada" and "wake up, Ontario" echo from the group marching in the background.

The clip was shared to Twitter on Saturday by lawyer and activist Caryma Sa'd, who stated that this isn't the first time the symbol has been used in this fashion by those who oppose the current federal government.

Among the hundreds of replies are questions of why this isn't considered hate speech and vandalism, and comments about how the behaviour of these groups is offensive, inappropriate, and "is getting beyond sickening, disgraceful and many other words."

"Using this guys math, he's responsible for the sins of his ancestors. He should probably go home and look at his family tree and see what kind of trouble he's in," one aptly noted.

Others called it a hate crime and tagged local and national police forces.

Generally, it seems people have long ago grown sick of the ongoing methods and messaging from these "convoy" groups — which are known to tout hateful symbols — and are suggesting that anyone who spots an offensive sticker perform their own small act of vandalism and take a sharpie to it.

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