PHOTOS: Victoria residents protest masks, COVID-19 restrictions

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Protestors rallied against COVID-19 restrictions Saturday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)Protestors rallied against COVID-19 restrictions Saturday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria residents marched through downtown protesting COVID-19 restrictions Saturday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)Victoria residents marched through downtown protesting COVID-19 restrictions Saturday afternoon. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon calling for the end of COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon calling for the end of COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Approximately 100 maskless people marched through downtown Victoria and gathered in Centennial Square Saturday to call for an end to COVID-19 restrictions.

Anti-mask protests have been a common occurrence throughout the pandemic, but this was the largest one seen in Victoria so far.

Grouped together in Centennial Square, people listened and cheered as speakers called on them to “summon up the confidence and courage to take back our power” and “remember we are the many and they are the few.”

A musician sang “freedom is essential” and “no more lock down” before leading the crowd in the national anthem. One of the final speakers told people to remember that if they’re stopped trying to enter a ferry without a mask they should “show them your passport” and remind them that “you can go anywhere.”

RELATED: ‘Buy a boat,’ Horgan advises anti-maskers on BC Ferries

Ahead of the rally, the Victoria Police Department tweeted that they had been in contact with the organizers and informed them of VicPD’s expectations for a safe, lawful and peaceful event. VicPD also noted they don’t have the ability to enforce the face coverings order in outdoor settings but would be on scene and masked at the rally to ensure public safety.

“Under the Act, we do not need to take enforcement action at the time of an offence, but can take action, including issuing of fines, at a later date,” police tweeted.

RELATED: Stay informed about COVID-19


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