The protest was just one of dozens held across Canada on Sept. 20 in order for parents to demonstrate their opposition and anger to Sexual Orientation and Gender Ideology (SOGI) in the schools. In most provinces, children under 16 can decide to change their gender or pronouns without the permission or knowledge of their parents.
Those present chanted, “Leave our kids alone” in defiance of the school curriculum.
Event organizer Kamel El-Cheikh told the crowd that gathered on Parliament Hill that New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh challenged him in the street when he "looked me in the eye" and gave El-Cheikh the evil eye hand gesture. He said he stared down Singh and returned the gesture. During his speech El-Cheikh said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Singh bullied the blue-collar Freedom Convoy truckers “and this white-collar guy is going to make sure you all eat your words," he said.
"We're just starting. September 20 will be families and kids liberation day. We will be relentless. We will be unapologetic. From Victoria, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa we will defend our children and parents' rights at all costs. Remember, we are the powerful majority. We are one nation under God. God keep our land glorious and free."
Peoples Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, a former foreign affairs and industry minister in the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, attended the rally and said he would continue to fight gender ideology in all of its forms. All of Canada’s major political party leaders were invited to attend the protest but only Bernier and Christian Heritage Party leader Rod Taylor attended.
El Cheikh told The Post Millennial the march was “celebrating Canada's beauty” as the weather, a sunny and warm day in the nation’s capital, reflected his words.
“We're gonna bring Canadians together again, because Canadians have been protesting from coast to coast organically … We brought together Protestant Christians and Catholics and evangelicals and Muslims and then they're coming together to protect Canada's kids. Isn't that lovely?”
Pastor Rene McIntyre, who was one of the speakers for the day, praised the way that El-Cheikh had ensured that all faiths were represented in the march and told TPM, We're standing in solidarity with this man … we're here representing and saying [to the education system] ‘You have crossed the line and we're not willing to put up with it anymore … children are our greatest treasure. They're our greatest resource. It's our responsibility to make sure that they are safe, she said.
“Let us raise our kids. We want to raise them.”
The march was supposed to begin with two hours of guest speakers but just as organizers were preparing to begin, a crowd of pro-gender ideology demonstrators arrived to stage a counter-protest. The group started yelling at the pro-parental rights protesters and police kept the two factions separated by a long line of uniformed bodies on Wellington St.
The counter-protest was inspired in part by a Zoom call on Sept. 15 where several public sector unions joined forces to “co-conspire” and attempt to thwart the Million Person March through intimidation.
Although the Ottawa Police Service told the Million Person March contingent to stay on the sidewalks and not to venture onto the street, they did not prevent the counter-protest from doing exactly that and even blocking traffic on O’Connor St.
The march began at approximately 11;15 as about 15,000 people began leaving Parliament Hill for Wellington and Elgin St.
The event attracted an impressive list of speakers: from Pastor Henry Hildebrandt, who was arrested and jailed for conducting church services in Aylmer, Ont. to Josh Alexander, the high school student who was expelled and then arrested for opposing boys in his Catholic school from using the girls’ washrooms. Former 700 Club host Laura-Lynn TylerThompson also spoke.
The crowd cheered enthusiastically for all the speakers but gave a little extra applause for Nathan Pawlowski, the son of Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski, who was just sentenced to 60 days in jail this week for violating Covid mandates when he preached to a group of Freedom Convoy truckers at the Coutts, Alta. border crossing. Pawlowski walked free however, because the judge gave him credit for time already served in Alberta’s prisons, much of it in solitary confinement.
The younger Pawlowksi had delivered a powerful speech to the European Union Parliament in July, criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s crackdown on civil liberties when he invoked the Emergencies Act against the Freedom Convoy and his war on free speech with several internet censorship bills. Nathan spoke about the experience in an exclusive interview with TPM.
Pawlowski said Wednesday that governments and school teacher unions have “made a grave mistake uniting us finally to push back, that's what they fear the most: unity.
“That's why they cracked down so hard on the Freedom Convoy, why they arrested my father, why they convicted him and why they wanted him in jail for giving a sermon because he was uniting Canadians. Government has no business in the education of children, none whatsoever. That decision rests with the parents and family. They have stepped too far,” he said.
“We will not accept the normalization of indoctrination, because we know throughout history that it always ends in tragedy. My parents are immigrants. They escaped communism. My great- grandparents told me about Nazism, my grandparents about communism. My parents escaped communism. The similarities are uncanny with what we are seeing in Canada today … We are in a dangerous position,” Pawlowski said.
El-Cheikh spoke last. He promised that the Million Person March would not be a one-time event but the beginning of a national movement. He has centered his political activism in the “Hands off our Kids” website at www.handsoffourkids.com
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