A couple dozen anti-mask protesters gathered on the sidewalks and medians along Lasalle Boulevard near the New Sudbury Centre Sunday afternoon.
The protesters carried signs with slogans including “mainstream media is the propaganda -- the fear is the virus,” “the real pandemic is fear and control” and “my health, my choice, my right to breathe.”
At least one protester carried a sign that said “Sudbury Ontario Freedom Keepers - Join us on Facebook,” referring to a local anti-masker Facebook group.
When Sudbury.com attempted to interview the protesters, a middle-aged woman wearing medical scrubs interrupted the interview, telling her fellow protesters not to speak to the reporter, an order she repeated several times.
Getting progressively closer to our reporter, the woman, who did not give her name, but claimed to be the protest’s organizer, also grabbed at the reporter’s arm and small voice recording device, shutting it off in the process, and taking (and failing to give back) the windsock secured to the recording device with a hair elastic.
“We’re not doing interviews,” she said.
Sudbury.com asked “Who are you?”
The woman said “I’m the organizer of this group. We’re not doing interviews. You do not do interviews … (unintelligible due to wind/mic noise) ... Everything that we say, you guys are liars.
"I want you to leave our protest, thank you very much.”
Sudbury.com did ask the woman to speak with us but she refused.
The woman said, “No, I don’t want to speak to you either. And if this comes out on the …” — at which point the recording stops, because the woman grabbed at and managed to stop the Sudbury.com reporter’s recorder.
The protester also threatened to sue Sudbury.com if we publish anything on the protest, said Sudbury.com is “antifa” and took issue with the reporter wearing a mask because she couldn’t see her face.
Sudbury.com was in the process of interviewing well-known local UFO researcher Michel Deschamps, who was taking part in the protest, when we were interrupted by the irate organizer.
Deschamps, who actually presented us with his business card, shared a number of wide-ranging conspiracy theories, including that COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdowns are part of a plan by the “deep state” that’s "been in the works for a long time.” He said he believes in another recent conspiracy that a COVID-19 vaccine was an effort by former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates to implant "tracking chips" in the populace.
“There’s also a patent on the COVID-19 virus, which oddly has never been isolated or sequenced,” he said. “It is man-made. It did come out of China.”
Deschamps said the protesters are “fighting for our liberties and human rights.”
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