More honking and crowds are on the way—another round of protests is expected to take place in downtown Victoria this Saturday.
Anti-mandate protesters are departing Campbell River at 7 a.m., cruising south along the Island Highway before reaching BC’s Legislature at 12:30 p.m., according to a “Freedom Convoy” poster.
For the fourth weekend in a row, demonstrators are anticipated to line Belleville Street, holding signs stamped with words like “It’s not about health – it’s about government control” and “My body – my choice.”
From 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., organizers encourage participants to honk their horns—something that’s fueling frustration in some Victoria locals, prompting the petition Enforce City noise bylaw against “convoy protest” noise.
Created by David Thompson, over 600 people have signed it so far.
Thompson argues that repeated honking and engine revving affects residents, workers, and businesses, so he’s asking city officials to enforce noise bylaws and ticket every driver in violation.
Ahead of the weekend, VicPD says it’s working to ensure public safety, deploying temporary CCTV cameras in surrounding public places. It’s also warning drivers of possible traffic disruptions.
“Dangerous and/or unlawful acts will be met with de-escalation and enforcement. This enforcement may include the issuing of violation tickets under the Motor Vehicle Act,” VicPD said in a media release.
Last Saturday’s protest left an Island Health care worker shaken up after anti-mandate protesters allegedly yelled obscenities at them as they were driving to a patient’s home in James Bay.
BC Premier John Horgan called the actions “unacceptable,” adding, “I think I speak for all British Columbians [with] profound regret that there’s that level of stupidity in some of our fellow citizens.”
The health authority has since changed its service delivery protocols, including staff now using vehicles without logos in “certain situations” and requesting police escorts if they feel unsafe.
The “Freedom Convoy” started in response to the federal government’s vaccine mandate for Canadian cross-border essential workers, including truckers, requiring proof of vaccination to avoid quarantining after returning to Canada.
Meanwhile, a counter-protest—Save Our City: Convoy Go Home!—is also scheduled for Saturday.
The Communist Party of Canada encourages people to gather on the lawn next to Victoria’s City Hall at 11 a.m. bearing signs denouncing the convoy.
“We are calling on all progressive forces to unite against the dangerous and reactionary ‘Freedom Convoy’ which continues to aggressively (and obnoxiously) push for its far-right agenda,” organizers added.