Supporters gather at a rally against measures taken by government and health officials to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror Alta on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The Whistle Stop was closed by AHS for non-compliance with COVID -19 rules. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jason Franson
An anti-lockdown protest took place outside a cafe in central Alberta on Saturday, despite pouring rain and a preventive 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 said the provincial government will take legal action to stop any planned protest against COVID-19 public health orders, including one outside the cafe.
On Wednesday, AHS said it had closed the Whistle Stop Café after the agency received more than 400 complaints against the company since January.
Health officials have said the cafe will remain closed until its owner, Chris Scott, can demonstrate its ability to comply with health restrictions.
As a large crowd of people without masks stood together, cheering, clapping and eating, RCMP officers stood next to them on Saturday as Scott took the stage and gathered the crowd to join him in what he called civil disobedience “peaceful”.
Officers wearing body cameras said they were maintaining order and educating pickers who did not wear masks about COVID-19 regulations.
Under the injunction, RCMP officers were allowed to use reasonable force to arrest and remove anyone at the rally who violated public health orders.