With cries of “Freedom!” and “No Mandates!” about 90 people marched peacefully Tuesday evening through 100 Mile House as part of the Fight4Freedom movement.
The march, started in Centennial Park under drizzly skies, was organized by Lee Hagard and Chloe Kelley, who encouraged participants to co-sign a petition that read “We, the undersigned, are demanding an electoral district-wide referendum to determine if businesses and facilities will require proof of vaccination prior to entry.”
“Today we’re holding a march trying to protect our freedom of medical choice,” Hagard said. “In my opinion, it’s unjust for the government to mandate that people put an untested substance into their body. We have a petition going asking for a referendum (on the vaccine passports). We want the people to decide, not the government. This country is still a democracy and we need to treat it that way.”
Kelley said the purpose of the protest was to advocate for individuals’ freedom of choice – a sentiment shared by other participants.
Lone Butte’s Roseanne Elliott attended the march with her mother and daughter to voice her opposition to the vaccine passport.
Elliott said everyone should be able to choose what to do with their bodies and shouldn’t be barred from entering buildings because of that choice.
“I think that we need to just stand for what we believe in so it doesn’t affect our children in the future,” Elliott said.
Doug Friesen carried an upside-down Canadian flag during the march, which he said is a symbol for Canada being in distress. No one, nurses or otherwise, should be forced to take the vaccine, he said.
“I’ve been vaccinated before. I had the polio vaccine but not with this (COVID-19 shot),” Friesen said.
Jesse Wightman, who recently suffered a stroke and spent much of 2020 in hospital, said he worries getting the vaccine could trigger another stroke. “I just want to support people who are exempt from taking the vaccine, for good reasons,” he said.
Wightman maintains a person’s vaccination status is a private matter. To demonstrate, he brought his own health passport that lists several vaccinations he received as a child and said that should be enough. ‘
Both Kelley and Hagard grew up in 100 Mile House and said they were pleased with the turnout. They said they already have over 500 signatures on the petition and expect that number to grow. Fight 4 Freedom ultimately plans to present the petition to Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson.