Ottawa Freedom Rally – Challenging Authoritarian Covid-19 Restrictions

The start of the day in Ottawa at 5:30 am, August 29, 2020, was not promising. Rain was steady and dark clouds covered the horizon. By 9 the rain was more of a fine spray. By 11am the rain stopped all together.

I made my way to the Ottawa Parliament grounds. To my surprise there were at least 2000 thousand people and a steady flow entering. In the end it was a crowd of at least 7000. I met people who came for this event, from Edmonton, Calgary, Region of La Bosse, Toronto, Orillia, Montreal & Quebec City.

What struck me was everyone made eye contact with everyone. Everyone was smiling. Everyone was happy & they all shook hands. I shook hands and got some hugs.

One thing left me with a less than favorable impression was the speakers and the content of the speeches. I as a journalist was permitted access to the press area in the very front of the stage. I should have remembered to bring ear plugs. At times, some most of the time, those speaking were screeching. Other than rhetoric not much was said. However the important point of this success was the thousands that made a concerted effort & spent their money to attend.

I left the media pit and made my way back into the crowd. I wanted most to meet the people. I was soaking in the atmosphere and getting a feeling for this movement. Time will tell where this movement goes. One thing is certain no intimidation, destruction of property or violence will be a result.

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