Sackville’s competing rallies for freedom in Bill Johnstone park

“Concerned Citizen” (L) and fellow protester “Terry Freedom”

About 25 protesters from across New Brunswick brought the World Wide Rally for Freedom 13.0 to Bill Johnstone Memorial Park on Saturday while about three times that number joined a counter demonstration to support the right of LGBTQ students in the province’s schools to choose their own identities.

One of the Freedom Rally protesters, who would identify himself only as a concerned citizen from Hampton, said, at first, he was concerned about parents’ rights, but quickly backtracked to say the rally’s main purpose was to raise awareness about plans to impose a  cashless society, digital IDs and 15 minute/smart cities.

“The cashless society that comes along with the smart cities will inhibit this man right here in his food truck from making his living,” he said pointing to one of the vendors at the Sackville Farmers Market.

“Simple things that we take for granted like flea markets and the tooth fairy. How are you going to give your kids change any more, when there’s no change? It’s things like that that’s really deep with me,” he added.

He and a fellow protester, who identified himself only as Terry Freedom, referred to COVID 19 and the restrictions that came with it as a “plan-demic.”

“And, it’s coming back,” the concerned citizen insisted. “The masks are coming back.”

Newspaper called Druthers

Melissa Kearns with the latest issue of Druthers

Melissa Kearns of Norton, near Sussex, held the September 2023 issue of a 12-page, professionally produced newspaper called Druthers which carries a detailed, front-page article explaining their concept of a 15 minute/smart city in which people will be confined within a few minutes of their homes to facilitate the harvesting of both external and internal surveillance data for the benefit of “global corporations, governments and banking imperiums”:

Every aspect of life in a Smart City will be monitored by a wide variety of data harvesting technologies: SMART Lights, SMART Poles, SMART Cars, SMART Neighbourhoods, SMART Homes, SMART Appliances, SMART Energy, SMART Transportation and many other SMART technologies. Together they will form an omnipresent surveillance grid, continually collecting all information about every little detail on the life of the people.

These external SMART devices are being synchronized with devices that are directly connected to the human body, like SMART watches on our wrists or SMART phones in our hands. These devices are able to gather information about what is happening inside our body and even have the ability to alter functions of the human body. In the near future, they will be implanted inside the human body to collect even more data and have a lot more influence on what happens inside of us.

Under the subheadline, “Humanity must wake up,” the newspaper says: “The sheer evil of this agenda is indescribable. But what is even worse is the persistent unwillingness of the public to acknowledge something that is threatening their very existence. They insist on keeping their eyes closed, only caring for superficial entertainment. Staying dumb and blind at all costs, since ‘ignorance is bliss.'”

‘We do not hate’

Vanessa Arsenault

Vanessa Arsenault of Moncton participated in the Freedom Rally waving a Pride flag.

“We do not hate any group of people,” she said after identifying herself as a bisexual who was bullied mercilessly at school.

She said people should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies, but young people also need guidance.

“My problem is I don’t believe any minor should make life-altering decisions such as changing their names or pronouns without parental consent,” she said.

“If little Susie comes to Madame Teacher and says, ‘Hey, I’m confused,  I think I want to be Bob,’ Madame’s not going to call the Mom and Dad and say, ‘This is what your kid is saying.’ Madame is going to encourage the student to go speak to the guidance counsellor.”

Arsenault says she wishes that she had known she could turn to a guidance counsellor during her own difficult times at school.

“If I had understood what those resources were when I was younger, maybe I could have had some conversations with my parents before things got too far for me because at one point I did feel suicidal and I wanted to kill myself,” she said.

“But perhaps if I understood what the guidance counsellor’s job was, I could have talked those feelings out and I could have been able to approach my parents [because] I would have known how to have a conversation with them.”

Arsenault says she joined the freedom movement three years ago after she was forced, as a health worker, to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Nobody should be told they need an injection of any kind to have a job,” she says.

“I was put in a position that I never should have been put in.”

‘We’re fighting for freedom too’

Tasia Alexopoulos

Tasia Alexopoulos, who helped organize the counter-demonstration to the freedom rally, says she was pleased that so many people came out to show their support.

“We’re here today to celebrate what’s wonderful about our community, which is that it’s fun, it’s loving, it’s inclusive, it’s welcoming [and] we are not a place that excludes people or threatens people.”

She added she was concerned that the hostile and tense demonstrations in Moncton last Wednesday could happen here too in a park where children are present.

“So, we decided it would be a nice idea to invite everyone to the park to dance and eat cake and do some crafts and have fun.”

When asked how she would respond to the range of opinions expressed by freedom rally participants, Alexopoulos said everyone is entitled to their opinions.

“But I think a lot of the opinions they hold are not based on facts, or evidence, or reality. They’re based on fear and countering fear with fear doesn’t work and that’s why we wanted to have a really joyful event today to say, ‘We’re fighting for freedom too. We’re just fighting for a different kind of freedom. The freedom to be who we are.'”

Counter-demonstration attracted at least three times more supporters

Sackville resident Louis Belliveau (L) supported the Freedom Rally

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2 Responses to Sackville’s competing rallies for freedom in Bill Johnstone park

  1. Virgil Hammock says:

    Thanks for this story on an event that many of us hoped would never happen. Last thing we need at our Fall Fair that should be a family fun affair.

  2. Mike says:

    Found a typo –
    “ front-page article explaining the concept of the 15 minute/smart city”
    should read:
    “front-page article comically misrepresenting the concept of the 15 minute/smart city”

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