Low turnout so far in second round of ‘freedom’ protests in Quebec City

Most of the demonstrators in Quebec abandoned their posts in front of the National Assembly for what was to kick off the second round of protests against health measures linked to COVID-19.

Protesters entered the snowy city on Friday afternoon to begin another weekend of what some are calling “Woodstock for Freedom,” an offshoot of the “freedom convoy” that began in Ottawa last month – but due to low attendance, attendees appear to have packed up for the night.

However, with the protest set to pack the biggest punch on Saturday, more participants are expected to arrive in the morning.

Meanwhile, in Ottawa, it’s the opposite: as protests rage, police step up and say they’ve done more than 100 arrests.

Protesters have occupied the nation’s capital for nearly three weeks now.

As for Quebec City, it is unclear how many protesters are expected to appear in the coming days. Organizers say the weekend’s events are expected to include concerts, speeches and even a meditation session.

The first round of protests in Quebec took place a few weeks ago, with participants vowing to return for the weekend of February 18.

This time the city police were granted more power close the streets as a precaution, if necessary.

During the first four-day demonstration in Quebec City, police made three arrests and handed out 170 tickets.

Unlike in Ottawa, MP and former police officer Ian Lafrenière expects the Quebec rally to be better controlled.

“It’s completely different. In Quebec, we’re used to demonstrations. In Montreal, for example, it’s between 1,000 and 1,500 demonstrations a year.”

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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