Police interfere with Canadian's Right to Assembly for Peaceful Protest in Toronto Jan 16, 2021
Source: The Post Millennial https://thepostmillennial.com/breaking-police-arrest-anti-lockdown-protesters-in-downtown-toronto
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Days after Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency and issued a Stay at Home order for Ontario, anti-lockdown protestors rebranded their weekly call against lockdowns as an "Essential Exercise March."
Demonstrators assembled in the streets to protest ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns which have resulted in rampant business closures and joblessness across the country.
Unlike previous weeks there were greeted by a heavy police presence at Yonge-Dundas Square. Police can be seen on video detaining and placing the protesters under arrest.
[Vid scene 01 12:07 PM · Jan 16, 2021] : I’m at the anti-lockdown protest in downtown Toronto where there is a heavy police presence. Follow @TPostMillennial for more
[Vid scene 02 12:36 PM Jan 16, 2021] LIVE in Toronto: Anti-lockdown protestors chant “shame on you!” after the police remove a protestor from Yonge-Dundas Square.
Protestors stressed their right to protest, but the police responded by arresting one while other protestors urged everyone to not group together and not engage with the police.
"This is assault, what these cops are doing, this is assault" one woman can be heard shouting in the footage.
"This is f**king disgusting man, this is disgusting," a man can be heard saying regarding the police's actions.
Protesters have been repeatedly ordered to disperse by police.
[Vid scene 03: LIVE in Toronto: The police are ordering the anti-lockdown protestors to disperse from Yonge-Dundas Square]
[Vid scene 04: LIVE in Toronto: Police move in on the anti-lockdown protest to arrest the organizer and remove their equipment.]
[Vid scene 045 Police attempted to obstruct the path of protesters who ended up walking right around them.]
By time of publication, at least two people have been arrested, reportedly including the event organizer.
[Vid scene 06: LIVE in Toronto: Following the arrest of the event organizer, anti-lockdown protestors have left Yonge-Dundas Square for what they are calling an “Essential Exercise March”]
The demonstration winded down with the crowd of protesters singing "Oh Canada," then chanting, "we are all essential," referring to the arbitrary distinction between "essential workers" who are allowed to work vs "non-essential workers" who have been barred from working or operating their businesses during the lockdowns.
[Vid scene 07" LIVE in Toronto: Anti-lockdown protestors stop at Queen’s Park to sing O Canada and tell Premier Doug Ford that everyone is essential.]
Tensions flared back up shortly afterwards as more scuffles with police occurred and more arrests of protesters were made in the square.
Protesters can be heard screaming as one woman gets arrested, "they just literally put their hands on a woman!"
Police order the crowd repeatedly to "stand down."
[Vid 08: LIVE in Toronto: Police begin to arrest anti-lockdown protestors as they attempt to re-enter Yonge-Dundas Square following the march]
[Vid 09 LIVE in Toronto: Police continue to arrest anti-lockdown protestors who attempt to re-enter Yonge-Dundas Square. Police have asked everyone to disperse]
Police eventually force the rest of the protesters out of Yonge-Dundas Square, continuing to ask the crowd to disperse. After this point, the crowd complied and dispersed from the area.
[Vid 10: LIVE in Toronto: Police advance and force anti-lockdown protestors out of Yonge-Dundas Square, and continue to order protestors to disperse]
Weekly protests in Toronto against COVID-19 shutdowns have been ongoing for several weeks. As economic conditions worsen for Toronto residence, the protests are only expected to continued.
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