Trudeau rallies anti-vaxxer mobs

Trudeau on anti-vaxxer mobs at rallies: “We will not let them win”

The Liberal leader was hit by gravel thrown by protesters in London, ON on Monday.

At a campaign stop in Montreal this morning, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau spoke about an incident in London, ON yesterday where stones and gravel were thrown at him as he was boarding his bus. A reporter asked Trudeau whether he actually felt the gravel that was thrown — there was initially some question over whether he was hit by it or not — and whether he considered it an assault. Trudeau alluded to not only the increasingly violent mobs at campaign rallies but the anger seen across Canada at anti-vaccine-passport protests and aggressive behaviour towards business owners and healthcare workers by the anti-vaxxer contingent.

“Yes I felt some of that gravel, but I am staying focused not on me but on how we make sure that everyone who isn’t surrounded by security guards and well-wishers who have my back, everyone who is walking into a hospital on their own for a late night shift who is worried about some anti-vaxxers who might come and scream at them, those are the people that I think about,” Trudeau said. “Those are the people that I want to defend from having gravel thrown at them, from being spat on, from having someone tug at their mask and make them feel terrible as they’re going in for an 18-hour shift to save the lives of people who themselves chose not to get vaccinated. I mean, come on.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that people be throwing things and endangering others at a political rally,” Trudeau said. “There were volunteers and supporters, there were police officers there to keep everyone safe, there were journalist such as yourself doing a really important job informing Canadians of what’s going on in this election and some of the tensions that are out there. Nobody should be doing their jobs under the threat of violence — that’s absolutely unacceptable but it’s not just at political rallies that this is happening. There are healthcare workers across the country who are getting hassled and intimidated and bullied going into work to keep people safe and alive there are store clerks and waitresses and people going about their daily lives getting yelled at and pushed around. That’s not how we do things in Canada, and quite frankly as I continue to campaign, I am inspired by those people who continue to do the right thing in the face of anti-vaxxer mobs who are not respecting basic science and the basic decency that Canadians have rightly come to expect from each other.

In responding to follow-up questions, Trudeau said that he will personally not press charges against the protester(s) who threw stones and gravel but will allow the RCMP to do so if they feel it necessary. He also said that he would not stop holding the types of rallies that his team has organized during the campaign, noting that this is not the U.S., where massive security details have to prevent any contact or proximity between politicians and the public. “We will not let them win,” Trudeau said of “anti-vaxxer mobs.” He will, however, take advice from his security team and the RCMP and cancel events if necessary, as he did in Bolton, ON last week.

“Canadians… the stereotype is that we’re polite and we’re friendly, and we are, but we’re also made of steel. We also stand up strongly and clearly for what we know to be true, for our values, for the right path forward. A few misguided individuals who don’t believe in science and just want to watch things burn are not going to make us flinch from doing the right thing.”

Justin Trudeau on anti-vaxxer mobs at campaign rallies: “We will not let them win”

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