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Organizer of anti-mask protest at Hamilton city hall charged: police

The man who allegedly organized an anti-mask rally in front of Hamilton’s city hall last weekend is facing a potential fine of $10,000 for breaking rules under Ontario’s current COVID-19 restrictions, police say.

More than 100 people showed up at city hall on Nov. 8 for the “Hugs Over Masks” event, protesting restrictions under the Reopening Ontario Act, according to investigators.

Read more: Suspect charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder in ‘random’ downtown Hamilton attacks

During the event, officers told the 26-year-old organizer the planned gathering was an offence and that charges would apply.

However, the coordinator opted to go on with the event, police said.

The promoter has been issued a summons for failing to comply with reopening regulations and is expected to answer for the charge in court on Feb. 22, 2021.

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Following the announcement of the charges, Mayor Fred Eisenberger called those supporting anti-masking efforts “silly” and “irresponsible” amid a critical phase of the pandemic with a virus “running out of control.”

“You know, think about your parents or your loved ones and anyone else,” said Eisenberger.

 

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