Dozens gather at cafe to rally against health orders in Alberta

Protestors rally to support businesses owner in small Alberta town who refuses to follow public health rules. The cafe has been closed by Alberta Health Services after more than 400 complaints.

MIRROR, Alta. — An anti-lockdown protest went ahead outside a café in central Alberta on Saturday, despite pouring rain and a pre-emptive court injunction.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Whistle Stop Café in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta., for the "Save Alberta Campout Protest."

Alberta Health Services has said the provincial government will take legal action to stop any planned protests of COVID-19 public health orders, including the one outside the café.

On Wednesday, AHS said it closed the Whistle Stop Café after the agency received more than 400 complaints against the business since January.

Health authorities said the café will remain closed until its owner, Chris Scott, can demonstrate the ability to comply with health restrictions.

While a large crowd of people without masks stood together, cheering, clapping and eating, RCMP officers stood to the side on Saturday as Scott took to the stage and rallied the crowd to join him in what he called "peaceful" civil disobedience.

Officers wearing body cameras said they were maintaining order and educating gatherers who weren't wearing a mask on COVID-19 regulations.

Under the injunction, RCMP officers have been authorized to use reasonable force in arresting and removing any person at the rally who contravenes public health orders.

The Canadian Press

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