MONTREAL -- Thousands of people marched through downtown Montreal to protest mandatory mask rules in Quebec.

The march began outside Premier Francois Legault's office near McGill University and continued to Rene Levesque and Papineau, blocking traffic in the area.

Many in the group wore signs and t-shirts denouncing a so-called fear campaign by the Quebec government. Others carried American flags and flags supporting American President Donald Trump and banners supporting the debunked far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.

Quebec public health, Health Canada, the World Health Organization, the American Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and many public health experts have all urged mask wearing as a preventive measure during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As of Saturday, Quebecers who don't comply with COVID-19 related public health rules, including mask regulations, can be subject of fines of up to $6,000.