The event was called: ‘Quebec Debout’ (Quebec Standing Up). On the event’s Facebook page, 31,400 people had responded, saying they were either going to the event or were interested in doing so.
“We regard the sanitary measures as excessive and unjustified. We are asking for a return to normal life. Now is the time for all to stand up at the same time to create a historic and peaceful gathering”, the event’s description could read.
Westphalian Times was present on location during the march. The crowd was estimated at 30,000+ and included many families, children, elders, as well as Québécois from different backgrounds.
At many locations around the itinerary of the march, people stopped to dance around and play music. The mood was very joyful and light.
Protesters remained peaceful throughout the march, and aside from a few isolated incidents, the police did not intervene, although they were present in riot gear on the sidelines.
In most of Quebec, dine-in restaurants have been closed since October and it has been illegal to see family for over seven months. Most of the province has been under a curfew every night since January, a measure which the government promoted as a “shock treatment” but which has stayed in place for months now.
Hospitalizations and deaths in the province are lower than they were during both previous waves due mostly to the vulnerable populations now being largely vaccinated with at least one dose, yet the measures have not flinched.