Organizer of Lethbridge “freedom rally” hit with $1,500 in fines
The freedom rally outside Lethbridge city hall Tuesday. Photo credit to MyLethbridgeNow.com
LETHBRIDGE, AB – A Lethbridge man who organized a freedom rally outside of City Hall this week will be a little lighter in the pocket book.
On Tuesday afternoon (Jan 12), a small group gathered to protest COVID-19 health restrictions, saying they not only go against their rights and freedoms, but are also badly hurting Alberta businesses.
The rally was publicized on social media and that also brought out LPS who documented the entire event.
On Thursday morning, LPS Chief Shahin Medizadeh announced the organizer of the rally had been issue two tickets:
- Section 73 (1) of the Public Health Act, for Contravening an Order of Medical Officer of Health (Social Gathering) ) of the Public Health Act, with a specified penalty of $1,200;
- and the City of Lethbridge Bylaw 5651, Section 6 (Assembly without a Permit), with a specified penalty of $300.
“Our officers used their discretion to do this,” said the Chief during a media conference Thursday morning. “Ensure that people say their piece, but we also have to show there are rules that have to be followed for everyone’s safety and we also have to send that message too.”
Mehdizadeh says police have to do what they can to protect the majority of Lethbridge citizens. “This sort of behaviour we have to start getting a little more active on the enforcement side to show that it’s wrong and what they’re doing is actually putting people at risk.”
The rally was put together by a group calling itself “We The People YQL” which has been very vocal against provincial government measures related to COVID-19.
Mehdizadeh says LPS aren’t publicly releasing the organizer’s name, saying most people are already aware of who he is.