March 14, 2022
Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek condemned the freedom rallies downtown calling it a “parade” in need of stricter enforcement, adding they haven’t bothered to get licences to sell food.
“I was in the Beltline this afternoon. The weekly disruption this community faces is not a ‘protest’,” said Gondek on Twitter.
“It’s a parade. At Central Memorial Park, it’s a festival with merch & food vendors. Yet no permits or licences.”
She said she’s concerned about illegal, unlicenced vendors at the park on Saturdays, as locals sell eggs, honey and freedom swag.
“So why not enforce the bylaws? Why is the standard response that this will ‘fizzle out’? It won’t,” said Gondek.
“This is not about mandates. Those are gone. By waiting for this to die out, enforcement agencies have allowed it to grow. Telling residents/businesses to wait it out = shameful,” she tweeted.
Gondek is clear she does not support the initiative behind the protests and wants people to stop gathering.
On Saturday, March 12, the largest group of protestors against the freedom demonstration gathered and blocked the walking route.
Police stepped in and removed the counter-protestors from the path.
Police pushing counter-protesters on 17th Ave. in front of Western H.S. this afternoon. Didn’t see such aggression towards the protesters who have made living and working in the beltline hell every Sat for weeks. In fact it almost looked like they’re in cahoots. Pls retweet #yyc pic.twitter.com/KBxGO5g6EQ
— ritasirignano (@ritasirignano) March 13, 2022
“Community members standing their ground are not ‘counter-protestors’. They are people with a right to a safe & welcoming community,” tweeted Gondek.
“It’s past time to deal with people not following the law.