News Apr 17, 2021 6:46 PM EST

PLOT TWIST: Toronto police make no arrests, allow anti-lockdown protest to proceed one day after Doug Ford's restrictive lockdown measures

"I understand you have an opinion that you'd like to express," one officer said to some protestors, adding that "free expression is everything in this country."

PLOT TWIST: Toronto police make no arrests, allow anti-lockdown protest to proceed one day after Doug Ford's restrictive lockdown measures
Beth Baisch Toronto, ON
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Protestors once again gathered at Queen's Park in Toronto to speak out against the ongoing lockdowns, the latest amendment of which gives police increased authority to enforce the provincial stay-at-home order.

In sharp contrast to previous weeks where protestors were arrested and ticketed in accordance with the order, the police were far more relaxed during Saturday's events.

Officers stood in groups around the event itself, while others walked among the protestors in conversation.

"I understand you have an opinion that you'd like to express," one officer said to some protestors, adding that "free expression is everything in this country."

Another officer said "There are at least two sides to everything," one said, "and we're always in the middle. We're just trying to make it a safe place for everybody."

Since Doug Ford's announcement that police would now be stopping vehicles in order, several police districts have said they do not intend to enforce the orders.

Protestors then embarked on their "Essential Exercise March," referencing the fact that exercise is deemed an acceptable reason to be outside.

Travis Dhanraj, Queen's Park Bureau Chief for Global News, reported that as a result of the police's refusal to enforce Ford's harsh measures, Ontario is currently "reconsidering" the playground closures and police stops.

Protestors passed through Trinity Bellwoods Park where they declared “cherry blossoms are essential” and called to “free the cherry blossoms” after the city blocked off access to the trees.


As the group made its way through the city, several passerby expressed their disapproval with the protestors. One threw at least two bottles of water from off a roof.

The march wrapped at Queen's Park, with one participant shouting "Two weeks to flatten the curve became over 1 year!" at the Ontario Legislative Building.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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