May 8, 2021
Pastor Artur Pawlowski arrested. Pastor Pawlowski taken down on the freeway. How afraid of him must the Alberta Government be to treat him this way? pic.twitter.com/3BrCCzBXrl
— Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson (@LauraLynnTT) May 8, 2021
Calgary police have arrested street preacher Artur Pawlowski after he failed to abide by public health orders again during a Saturday church service where dozens were congregating without masks and no regard for physical distancing.
His brother, Dawid Pawlowski, was also taken into custody.
Both have been charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, in addition to “requesting, inciting or inviting others” to join them, said the Calgary Police Service in a statement.
“It is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing,” said CPS.
Alberta Health Services obtained a Court of Queen’s Bench Order on Thursday, which imposed additional restrictions on organizers of protests or demonstrations requiring compliance with COVID-19 safety measures, such as masking and attendance limits.
Police said they served “an organizer” of Street Church with the court order prior to the weekend service without entering the establishment, located at 4315 26th Ave. S.E.
“The service organizer acknowledged the injunction, but chose to ignore requirements for social distancing, mask wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees, and continued with the event,” said the force, which resulted in the arrests.
An anti-lockdown protest went ahead outside a cafe in central Alberta on Saturday, despite pouring rain and a pre-emptive court injunction.
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Whistle Stop Cafe in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta., for the “Save Alberta Campout Protest.”
Alberta Health Services has said the provincial government will take legal action to stop any planned protests of COVID-19 public health orders, including the one outside the cafe.
On Wednesday, AHS said it closed the Whistle Stop Cafe after the agency received more than 400 complaints against the business since January.
Health authorities said the cafe will remain closed until its owner, Chris Scott, can demonstrate the ability to comply with health restrictions.
While a large crowd of people without masks stood together, cheering, clapping and eating, RCMP officers stood to the side on Saturday as Scott took to the stage and rallied the crowd to join him in what he called “peaceful” civil disobedience.
Officers wearing body cameras said they were maintaining order and educating gatherers who weren’t wearing a mask on COVID-19 regulations.
Under the injunction, RCMP officers have been authorized to use reasonable force in arresting and removing any person at the rally who contravenes public health orders.