Sherbrooke gathering protests government restrictions

By Gordon Lambie

A little over 100 people gathered together in front of the Armand Nadeau Pavilion in Sherbrooke’s Jacques Cartier Park on Saturday in what organizers described not as a protest, but a “citizen movement for the defence of the rights and freedoms of the people.” Flying their fleurdelisé flags upside down and carrying signs denouncing the now delayed Bill 61, the crowd gathered to voice their concerns about what they see as the provincial government overstepping its role and imposing unreasonable restrictions on the life of people in Quebec.
Although much of the message of the gathering was structured around the idea of building a better future through communal living, the event also had a clear appeal to people feeling disillusioned with the confinement measures put in place by the Legault Government. One member of the crowd wore a shirt offering free hugs and environmental housing advocate Guillaume Durand, who addressed the crowd prior to the start of the March, stated at one point that, “There is no more health emergency.”
“The problems of the people need to be solved by the people,” Durand said, speaking critically of the political system in Quebec in general and expressing concern that the province will continue to use the current situation to try to increase government power. “If people think that Bill 61 is dealt with because the opposition blocked it; we are not out of the woods.”
The protestors made their way out of the park under police escort to march as far as the local Radio Canada office on King Street before making their way back to the park.

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