London

5 charged with violating emergency laws at Woodstock anti-lockdown protest

Police in Woodstock, Ont. have laid five charges in connection with an anti-lockdown protest that was held in the city late Thursday afternoon.

The protest was to draw attention to the effects of the provincial lockdown on students and the homeless

Two men are facing a string of charges after police raided a home in Woodstock on Wednesday and seized a dozen weapons, including two shotguns, five rifles and a handgun. (@Woodstock_PS/Twitter)

Police in Woodstock, Ont. have laid five charges in connection with an anti-lockdown protest that was held in the city late Thursday afternoon.

The protest was organized by the youth group Project Phoenix, although police said all of those arrested were adults.

The group is protesting against the effects of the provincial lockdown on students, the effects of the pandemic on the homeless and the ongoing curfew in Quebec.

Some of those charged were from out of town and, according to police, had taken part in similar protests in other communities.

Organizers were warned in advance the event would violate the province's Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and the Reopening Ontario Act, which are in play during the province's current state of emergency.

"We were in contact with the organizers prior to the event happening. We did try to discourage the event from taking place, and we did advise that if ... evidence warranted, that charges would be laid," said Special Constable Shaylyn Jackson.

She said more charges might be pending.

Fines for attending a protest during the state of emergency in Ontario are $880 and organizers can be fined anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 and up to a year in jail, said Jackson.

The group behind the protest, Project Phoenix, was started by 13-year-old Phoenix Scott, a grade eight student in Chatsworth, near Owen Sound.

She was not among those who were ticketed Thursday, police said.

Organizers were planning to serve food and drinks to homeless people and to distribute clothing and other donations at their protests.

Another demonstration is scheduled for next Tuesday at Victoria Park in London. It's not known if that event will go ahead as planned.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now