Anti-mask protesters gather in Sackville: ‘We shouldn’t be muzzling our children’

A dozen anti-mask protesters gathered today on Main Street at the entrance to Tantramar Regional High School.

“I’m here just for the freedom of our kids,”said Kate Serre who said she helped organize the protest on behalf of her grandchildren and their kids.

“We want our lives back,” she added. “This masking is ridiculous in schools; kids want to go back to school, be with their friends, do in-school learning and they’re not allowed to unless they have a mask on.”

Shannon Estabrooks, who was there with her 17-year-old son Glendon and 10-year-old daughter Tessa, insisted that the public health authorities are wrong when they say masks help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

“We shouldn’t be muzzling our children,” she said. “It hasn’t been proven to work, we’ve had more COVID cases and hospitalizations this year with everybody masked and vaccinated, so what’s the point?”

Glendon, a Grade 11 student, echoed his mother’s message.

“I just think it’s time for everyone to stop being scared,” he said. “I think the masks are pointless as my Mom said [and] I think everyone just needs to stop living in fear.”

Glendon said both his social life and his learning suffered when schools were shut down during the pandemic and students shifted to online learning.

“A lot of my courses online, it was a lot more work than it was in person and it was definitely not organized at all.”

Tessa Estabrooks (L) and Kate Serre

Kate Serre, who was wearing a shirt proclaiming “Let Truckers Roll,” said she supports their protests against vaccine mandates including the one in downtown Ottawa.

“It took the truckers to wake people up,” she said to the sound of honking from passing motorists.

“I’ve sent money, I’ve sent people that have taken stuff to them and I hope they stay in Ottawa for another month until this gets resolved.”

Joe Shelby, who has six kids, five of them still in school, said the effects of periodic school lockdowns and other restrictions can be summed up in one word, “Hell.”

“Plain and simple, just hell, yeah,” he added.

Shelby said he was at today’s protest to defend freedom and support kids.

“They shouldn’t have to wear a mask 24/7, they shouldn’t have to be locked in their houses for the last two years, they should have a life.”

Protesters head back up Main St. at the end of their rally

When the traffic eased off at the high school entrance, the protesters marched down to Mallard and Main where they spent a few minutes soliciting more honks of support including several from passing truckers.

As they walked back up Main toward the school before dispersing, Rose Leonard spoke about the hardships of the pandemic.

“It’s been an incredibly long two years,” she said.

“Solid marriages are imploding, families are fracturing, friendships are disintegrating and we’re forgetting about the most important thing, which is kids’ mental health and that’s our future,” she added.

“Take yourself back to when you were in school and how there were so many things growing up that you had to adapt to, adjust to, learn about and then throw these mandates, throw masks on, throw the scare of your Granny or your Grampy dying, these kids have enough to deal with growing up.”

Leonard said she recently closed her Pi By Crow food business on Main Street and is returning to her customer base at the Farmers Market.

“I can’t grow a business when you’re constantly being restricted, so it just made no economic sense to stay there,” she said.

When asked if she had anything to add about the protest, she replied that it speaks to people’s desire for change and referred to the latest changes to New Brunswick’s Emergency Act that impose hefty fines on protesters who disrupt the normal flow of traffic on roadways.

“I think it’s spurring a lot of people to come out and speak out and not be afraid,” she said.

Note: The Anglophone East School District e-mailed the following message to parents this afternoon (February 10):

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12 Responses to Anti-mask protesters gather in Sackville: ‘We shouldn’t be muzzling our children’

  1. Kata List Productions says:

    Aww… I feel very strongly about this issue as well – I support the anti-mask movement in fact I would say I always did… having emailed the elementary school principal before the 2020/2021 school year to remove these things from our people in schools – teachers, staff, children, etc… so thanks for covering this Bruce… like I told Christian Corbet in the grocery a while back … ” I just want to breathe.. ” why is that so difficult to get through to the pro-maskers?

    • Les Hicks says:

      Yes, thanks Bruce for covering this protest and letting us know that the anti-science, anti-mask, anti-vaxx folks, who don’t know the definition of altruism, and have drunk the Kool-Aid, are here amongst us and not just in Ottawa and Windsor. I’m surprised they weren’t carrying Trump flags and Confederate flags and demanding that they have leadership roles when they form the new government. In the immortal words of Forrest Gump, “My momma always said ‘stupid is as stupid does.’ “

  2. Shannon Estabrooks says:

    Thank you so much for covering this. You did a fantastic job. It’s refreshing to see a non biased, well written article that goes “against” the usual MSM propaganda.

  3. Kate Serre says:

    Thank you Sir for coming out today and listening to us. You are a breathe of fresh air in the media world. Our Kids need their freedoms back they need to not be afraid to hug people. Never in my life did I think I would echo the words UNMASK our KIDS it is very disturbing. Again Thank you Sir.

    • KS says:

      Despicable demonstration of lack of judgement from a parent. The indoctrination that you are imposing on your children is both concerning and saddening for their future.

  4. Jon says:

    Two years later, and after 5.8 million deaths worldwide, a fringe is still droning on with the same selfish nonsense: masks to decrease virus transmission are “muzzles”.

    Kids CAN learn something, namely that the most simple and trivial effort (wearing a mask in indoor public places) can help others in a time of emergency. Masks do not stop people breathing. Covid, on the other hand, has stopped millions of people from breathing.

    Maybe the pandemic is winding down and becoming something milder, partly because so many people are vaccinated and protected. And maybe another, more dangerous variant will come along. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that many of these public health measures were necessary for saving lives and keeping hospitals functional. The “freedom” that so many anti-mask and anti-vaccine protesters march about is often the freedom to ignore reality, to do whatever they want regardless of whom it hurts or kills, and simply the vanity of not wanting to wear a mask.

    Yes, the restrictions have been difficult for everyone, some more than others. Honking horns and shouting “freedom” isn’t the solution to a problem that, not so long ago, was making morgues overflow in places all over North America, Europe, and elsewhere, and forcing people to store bodies in portable freezers. Memory is short, obviously. Luckily, the majority has a sense of duty and compassion that lasts longer than the memory of “freedom” protesters, because the majority realize that real freedom doesn’t truly exist without responsibility.

  5. Kelly says:

    Two weeks to flatten the curve. And before you lefty’s start I’m triple vaxxed. So I can shop, eat and move freely(kinda)

  6. Bestpar says:

    I am double vaxed only because it was/is a requirement to see my parents who are in a nursing home…can I see them? NOPE…so you tell me..is it fair…no…my mother has made the comment to me several times she would rather be dead because she cannot see her daughter, grandaughter and great grandaughters or any family members. Yes I totally understand why we cannot see them..to protect them…but we were all led to believe that once you were double vaxed..everything would go back to normal…YEAH RIGHT!!!

  7. Sharon Hicks says:

    It truly boggles the mind how after 2 years of listening to volumes of information from doctors, immunologists, virologists, epidemiologists, and other scientific bodies, there are STILL so many people ‘out there’ who feel this whole Pandemic is all about their own personal inconvenience.

    This Pandemic began with a ‘mutant’ virus, which had never been seen before, so scientists had to start from scratch to try and figure out how to handle it. Public Health protocols have had to change over time, as the virus mutated and scientists learned more about it. The vaccines, developed to combat the first variant, may not be as protective against the more recent variants – hence the need for booster doses. And this could go on for some time yet.

    Seems the majority of those complaining about ‘forced vaccinations’ and ‘loss of freedoms’ are too young to remember the Polio epidemic from 1948–1955, when hospitals were filled with patients in ‘iron lungs’ – those massive contraptions which were the precursors to today’s ventilators. There was confusion and panic, people were told to avoid gatherings and crowds, and there were closures of sports events and swimming pools.

    There was also a mad scurry to develop a vaccine, and we all willingly lined up to get it as soon as it was made available. I don’t recall anyone complaining about it, in fact it was welcomed with open arms.

    This change in attitude appears to be the result of the overwhelming bombardment of misguided personal opinions on ‘Social Media’, which are accepted by far too many as ‘fact’, while scientific reports are shunned and regarded with suspicion.

  8. Susan Bour says:

    You are right Sharon. Thanks for this comment.

  9. Faye Hicks says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to invite all like-minded, Type 1 thinking, people to join me in a protest I am organizing against the ridiculous weather we have to endure EVERY year from November to March. It has been going on for far too many years now and the closed highways, power failures, and icy sidewalks imposed upon us during and after all these blizzards, are a direct infringement on my right to go shopping in Moncton – and don’t even get me started on the health hazard of wearing a scarf over my face while shovelling all this snow at these ludicrous -20C temperatures!
    I will be leading a demonstration in front of the town hall’s equipment storage area, blocking their snowplows ability to get out and clear the roads and sidewalks until Justin Trudeau is ousted an a new government, consisting of me, Donald Trump, and a few of my friends, are installed as the new federal government. Our first order of business will be to declare winter a hoax and all measures associated with it – heavy coats, boots, mitts and hats; snow clearing; power failures; road and school closures; and traffic accidents, to be what they are – completely unnecessary and a direct infringement on my FREEDOM to wear capris and go kayaking in Silver Lake. See you there – don’t forget to wear your tinfoil hats!