Last Friday in Stuart Park, Kelowna, B.C. hosted a freedom rally with infamous activist Chris Sky as its headliner. Following on the heels of newly announced travel restrictions by Premier John Horgan and top public health official Dr. Bonnie Henry, nearly 2,000 people from all over the Thompson Okanagan region gathered to protest peacefully and speak out against what they deem to be unlawful measures and government overreach.
Kelowna was the second stop on Sky’s “Freedom Convoy,” tour, the first of which was on April 20 at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach — historically, the site of the city’s 420 pro-cannabis protest festivities. The intention of the convoy is to travel from coast to coast, recruiting vehicles along the way and eventually reaching Montreal on May 1.
According to one of the British Columbia organizers, the convoy will continue, though it is still unclear if Sky, who was arrested after speaking at a Thunder Bay rally on Tuesday night, will be joining for the remainder of the route.
In Kelowna, Sky was received by a crowd more akin to a music festival than a political protest. He shared the stage with local small business owners, concerned parents, people who don’t want to take the COVID vaccines, and maskless shoppers. His intention is to assemble these groups of people in each city he visits, leaving them with blueprints to execute a civil disobedience plan which he calls “united non-compliance.”
“We’re setting up these groups in every city that are going to be taking action and making a difference, and when we do that on a grand scale, we’re going to get our way without any violence,” he said. Sky’s message for the audience was simple: “Just say no.”
“The turnout was fantastic, the energy was spectacular — they have like the happiest, most positive energy here of any city I went to. It’s just a whole different world here, it’s almost like a different country. We need the rest of Canada to catch up.”