Organizer of U.S. election result protest in Red Deer charged

Click to play video 'Pro-Trump supporters gather in downtown Vancouver' Pro-Trump supporters gather in downtown Vancouver
WATCH (Jan. 6): A small group gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery Wednesday to show support for outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump as the U.S. Capitol was occupied by pro-Trump rioters. – Jan 6, 2021

The person who organized a protest in Red Deer Wednesday has been charged under the Public Health Act.

READ MORE: U.S. Capitol secured after violent protest in support of Trump leaves 1 woman dead

RCMP said officers were called to a demonstration near City Hall Park at around noon.

“Approximately 30 individuals were gathered to demonstrate the U.S. elections result at the corner of Ross Street and 49 Ave.,” RCMP said in a news release Thursday.

Read more: Premier Kenney, Alberta’s Opposition leader condemn storming of U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters

The Red Deer RCMP Downtown Patrol Unit responded.

“The gathering was found to be in contravention of current public health guidelines and the group organizer was subsequently charged under the Public Health Act,” RCMP said.

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Many people then left the rally, RCMP said, and the event ended at 3 p.m.

Photos from the rally show people gathered together, not wearing masks, holding signs that read: “Volunteers for American Liberty” and “Canadians for Trump. Drain the Swamp.”

Read more: 5 charged following weekend anti-mask rally in Calgary

RCMP are not releasing the name of the person charged. They are scheduled to appear in Red Deer Provincial Court on April 28.

Small rallies backing outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump broke out in several Canadian cities Wednesday, as a riotous mob occupied the U.S. Capitol in an effort to disrupt the certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

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In Toronto, more than a dozen vehicles emblazoned with Trump and “stop the steal” flags formed a convoy through the city, driving past the U.S. consulate.

Read more: Small pro-Trump rallies break out in Canada amid chaos at U.S. Capitol

In Vancouver, about two dozen demonstrators with Trump and Canadian flags gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza.

Other demonstrators carried signs attacking the media and calling for an end to the province’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Several dozen people gathered outside Calgary City Hall around 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Protesters carried U.S. and Canadian flags, along with handmade signs reading “Power of the people is stronger than the people in power” and “Freedom is never given, it is always won.”

Calgary police were on scene and described the demonstration as peaceful.

Click to play video 'Edmonton mayor calls US Capitol riot ‘heartbreaking’' Edmonton mayor calls US Capitol riot ‘heartbreaking’
Edmonton mayor calls US Capitol riot ‘heartbreaking’ – Jan 7, 2021

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said Wednesday was an extraordinary day in the U.S. in many ways. He said he was still working through his emotions about it on Thursday.

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“I’ve been in that building and I’ve stood in awe. It’s tragic.

“As someone who has run in four elections and who believes deeply that the best way for any community — whether that’s a city, a province or a country — to decide how it wants to be led and what it wants to stand for is through the democratic process, to see so many people undermining that democracy is just heartbreaking. It really is.”

READ MORE: 4 dead after Trump supporters storm U.S. Capitol, delaying electoral vote count

Iveson said that sentiment is voiced north of the border too.

“There is always a group of people who are dissatisfied with their community and their society and act out in a variety of ways.

“Regardless of the politics of it, I think it’s the anti-democratic character of the rhetoric that is most disheartening. To hear echoes of it here… is deeply troubling.”

Iveson said he believes most people are appalled by what transpired in Washington.

“The good news is the results are certified. I think America will move on. We’ll all have something to learn — not just from yesterday, but in the last four years where this festering discontent has been stoked and stoked and stoked.

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“I think it is a stark reminder that democracy is a fragile thing and each one of us must do our part to uphold it… which starts from non-violence and respect.”

“Those values were desecrated yesterday.”

With files from Simon Little, Global News

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