‘Disturbing trend’: Protest held outside home of Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek

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‘Disturbing trend’: Protest held outside home of Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek
WATCH: Calgary Police are investigating after a protest against COVID-19 health measures was held outside the home of mayor Jyoti Gondek on Sunday. As Adam MacVicar reports, it's the second protest outside a Calgary politician's home this month. – Jan 10, 2022

A group of protesters chanting “freedom over fear” rallied outside the personal home of Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek on Sunday.

The protest outside Gondek’s home is the second to take place outside a Calgary politician’s home this month.

In a video posted to social media, several protesters stood on the street outside Gondek’s home holding signs in opposition of vaccine mandates and health measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.

The Calgary Police Service said the protest was brief, and they were unaware of it until they were dispatched.

According to a CPS spokesperson, a call for assistance came in but the caller followed up minutes later to let police know the protesters were leaving.

Read more: Protesters leave behind wooden gallow, noose at Grande Prairie MLA’s home

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Police confirm the HAWCS helicopter and other units were dispatched to the area to monitor the situation.

“Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, all Canadians have the right to peaceful assembly, however, we believe it is inappropriate to do so outside someone’s residential address,” CPS said in a statement to Global News. “The dynamics of such events can cause significant concerns for local residents when compared to similar protests targeted toward institutions and held at locations such as City Hall or constituency offices.”

“As we do with any protest group, we will continue to monitor for any additional planned activity and deploy resources accordingly.”

It comes after a similar protest was held outside health minister Jason Copping’s Calgary home on New Year’s Day.

Police said about 50 people were protesting against current public health orders and two men believed to be pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother, Dawid Pawlowski, were arrested.

Read more: 2 arrested after protest against COVID-19 restrictions at Alberta health minister’s home

Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Calgary’s Mount Royal University, said these kinds of protests outside of the homes of elected officials are becoming more common and continue to escalate throughout the pandemic.

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“I wonder if it’s the same group of people, or roughly the same group of people going from home to home,” Bratt said.

“It’s a disturbing trend. And I wonder if, even when we’re out of COVID, if this is going to be the new normal?”

“It’s a clear pattern that we really didn’t see pre-COVID.”

Gondek’s office confirmed Calgary police officers responded appropriately.

In a post on Twitter Monday night, Gondek called on Calgarians to “stand strong together.”

“One small event does not define us. We have the ability to denounce hate and celebrate all that is good. There is much heavy work to do and we must be steadfast. I remain honoured to serve this city,” Gondek wrote.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called the protest outside of Gondek’s home wrong and condemned the actions of the protesters on social media.

“This is just wrong,” Kenney tweeted. “There are plenty of opportunities to protest without disturbing the families and neighbours of public officials.”

The protest was also condemned by Gondek’s predecessor, former mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Nenshi tweeted Sunday protesting outside elected officials homes is “very upsetting and never OK.”

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According to CPS, the protest outside of Gondek’s home is under investigation and officers will be liaising with officials at City of Calgary corporate security.

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