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Part two of Quebec City 'freedom' protest continues; four arrests made Saturday

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Round-two of the Quebec City ‘freedom’ protests continued Sunday, with demonstrators gathering in protest of COVID-19 health measures.

The crowd was considerably quieter on Sunday morning, after thousands packed into the provincial capital for rallies, concerts and speeches the day before.

After spending Saturday night parked on the street, vehicles had cleared out of the designated protest area by 5 p.m., according to Quebec City police (SPVQ). 

Overall, demonstrations "took place in calm and good order," according a Sunday press release from police.

On Saturday, four arrests and 99 tickets were handed out, according to officers. Two were charged under the Criminal Code for assault and indecent action, and two others were charged for infractions of the city’s Peace and Good Order regulations.

On that day, protestors were spotted forming a human chain to carry bags of stuffed animals to a stage near the Tourny fountain, where organizers distributed the toys to children at the event.

Children were also seen writing messages in marker on a school bus, with phrases such as “I’m Sam, 9 years old and I’m tired of the mask [sic]” and “F…. Trudo” scrawled on its yellow surface.

“The pandemic, it’s over, it’s over, we have to abolish everything, we’re tired, that’s enough,” said protestor Christian Martel Saturday, who called for an outright end to the vaccine passport and mandates requiring children to be masked at school. 

Vaccine passports are already no longer needed to enter big box stores, as well as branches of the SQDC and the SAQ. As of Feb. 21, it will no longer be required in places of worship. It is set to be completely withdrawn as of March 14, when a majority of the sanitary measures will have been relaxed.

A person waves a Canadian flag as hundreds of people demonstrate against COVID-19 measures in front of the legislature in Quebec City, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

A person waves a Canadian flag as hundreds of people demonstrate against COVID-19 measures in front of the legislature in Quebec City, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Quebec City’s first round of protests took place a few weeks ago, with participants vowing to return for the weekend of Feb. 18. This time around, the city’s police have been granted further power to close streets as a preventative measures, if necessary.

During Quebec’s initial four-day demonstration, police made three arrests and handed out 170 tickets. 

With files from CTV's Kelly Greig and The Canadian Press.

This is a developing story that will be updated. 

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