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Popular pro-lockdown group on Facebook rages against peaceful protestors

On May 1, 2021 Freedom Nova Scotia, a self-described grassroots movement, held an “End the Lockdown” protest on Citadel Hill in Halifax. The group of 150 or so spent two hours on the grassy hillside near Brunswick St, waving flags and banners. Halifax police were on scene to ensure protesters obeyed all Health Act Restrictions, including staying in socially distanced household bubbles.

“(O)ur officers worked with the organizers for days leading up to the event. That proactive work led to the prevention of a march, which had been originally planned to a different location. HRP officers were present throughout the event, used their best judgment to contain the event” Halifax police said in a statement released on May 3rd.

This rally has sparked much criticism on social media. “Stay the Blazes Home”, A popular Facebook group, was filled with posts and comments about the rally. Many people simply repeated Premier Iain Rankin’s response “What is wrong with you?”

Others took things further:

“Beat them with a bag of d***”
“I’d love to push them all down the hill then cough abs
(sic) sneeze on them, see how that shakes them. Idiots!!”
“I say we tar and feather the next anti-safe NS rally being held. And then some. Or paint balls, maybe *brick emoji*. Can’t wait”
“A plane carrying COVID spreaders should crash right there. That would help us get out of this. Then a bunch more f***ing idiots would take their place.”

This same vitriol can also be seen in the comments for Freedom Nova Scotia’s upcoming World-Wide Rally for Freedom – Halifax event, which takes place on May 15th.
 “Maybe Darwinism will kick in and the herd will be thinned. Don’t forget the tin foil hats everybody.”
  ”… if you rally and contract Covid19, then the Department of Health should have the freedom to refuse you treatment. You might consider what is best for the community, not just your own selfish desires.”
 “I hope anyone who think that all of this is an infringement of there freedom’s get covid. Then yall can see why these rules have been put into place…”
“How can we convince a few people with covid to attend these rallies and hug each and every one of them? Asking for a friend. It’s not murder It’s natural selection”
said a self-employed LPN.

“A plane carrying COVID spreaders should crash right there. That would help us get out of this. Then a bunch more f***ing idiots would take their place.”

A recent article in The Coast addressed this behavior – Shaming, blaming and vigilante justice is not going to get us out of this third wave. The article drew criticism from Facebook readers, who defended their right to “Name and Shame” anyone who didn’t follow regulations. A few people accused The Coast of “Gaslighting” them.

We reached out for comment from the admins of the Stay The Blazes Home Facebook group, but have not received a reply. At the time of writing all comments calling for violence remained up.