Police arrest 10 people after anti-lockdown protests in downtown Toronto
Anti-mask protesters gather on the lawn of the Ontario Legislature n Toronto on Saturday January 23, 2021. The protest travelled through the downtown core for hours and was not stopped by police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
TORONTO -- Ten people were arrested following anti-lockdown protests in downtown Toronto on Saturday.
For the second weekend in a row, Toronto police responded to large gatherings at Nathan Phillips Square, Yonge-Dundas Square, and Queen’s Park to enforce provincial emergency orders.
As part of a new series of public health measures implemented by the province, Ontarians have been told to only go out for essential purposes. Outdoor gatherings of more than five people are also prohibited.
Police said seven of the 10 people were charged. One of them is 38-year-old Christopher Saccoccia, who has spoken out against public health measures during the pandemic.
In September, he was charged with breaking federal quarantine rules for allegedly attending a rally in Toronto less than two weeks after returning to the country.
On Saturday, Saccoccia was charged with four counts of public mischief and common nuisance. A 57-year-old was also charged with common nuisance.
Meanwhile, four others were charged with obstructing a peace officer. A 72-year-old man was also charged with obstructing a peace officer and assaulting police.
Police said nine charges were laid against attendees for failing to comply with emergency orders. Three others were charged under the Highway Traffic Act.
Last week, police also broke up anti-lockdown gatherings downtown. Three people were charged, and 18 fail to comply with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act charges were laid.
Police said they will continue to attend large gatherings, disperse attendees, and issue tickets and summonses.