Horn-honking and Canadian flags and anti-Trudeau placards aplenty, supporters of the anti-mandate protest happening in Ottawa rolled into downtown Hamilton Saturday.
Hamilton is just one of the many cities across Canada that saw demonstrations in support of the so-called “trucker’s convoy” that began last week.
The Hamilton protest began Saturday at around 11 a.m. at Battlefield Park and proceeded down King Street to Dundurn, then Dundurn to Main Street to City Hall.
There were heavy traffic delays in the core, as police shut down a portion of Main Street between Bay and McNab streets.
Just before 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, police posted to Twitter saying the roads had reopened and the protest had ended.
For the most part, the protest remained peaceful, save for some anger and hostility directed toward members of the media.
Most supporters refused to speak with CHML News. James from Burlington, who did not give his last name, was one of the few that allowed an interview.
The proclaimed farmer and owner of a local truck repair centre, said the mood at the rally was very peaceful, saying he was just here to show his support to end vaccine mandates and passports.
James said he came out for all the unvaccinated people that lost their jobs saying, “Let companies hire them back, and don’t force the unvaccinated to lose their jobs, get rid of these mandates, get rid of these passports, because it’s not working.”
Harvey Peterson, one of the organizers of the local protest, said he decided to act when he didn’t see anyone else in Hamilton coordinating an effort in support of ending the mandates. “I didn’t see anyone else in Hamilton jumpin’ up, so I decided to, and support I received almost immediately was overwhelming.”
“I’m looking for freedom of choice; I want to choose what’s going into my body — like everybody’s had that choice their whole life,” Peterson said.
Peterson says he’s vaccinated, but believes COVID-19 public health measures need to stop.
“End all mandates, give us our freedom back.”
As of late afternoon on Saturday, Hamilton police have not reported any arrests or violence.