Holder and Mackie express concerns over weekend anti-lockdown rally
A crowd of up to 300 people march in Victoria Park, continuing down Richmond Street - Saturday, March 20, 2021 (Jim Knight / CTV News)
LONDON, ONT. -- London's mayor and top doctor are calling out individuals who took part in an anti-lockdown rally over the weekend.
Hundreds of people gathered at Victoria Park and then marched through parts of downtown London Saturday as part of an event billed as "World Wide Rally for Freedom and Democracy."
Many of those in attendance were not wearing masks, which prompted city by-law officers and police to monitor the situation.
In a media briefing Monday, Mayor Ed Holder and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie both expressed their concerns about the event.
“This smaller 200 group can do more damage to London and many of these people are not from this city. Whether you are from this city or not from our city, you can do more damage and set us back even further and hurt the very businesses you pretend to support and represent and I say shame on them,” said Holder Monday.
“These anti-mask rallies claim to be one thing but they are potentially increasing risk of lock down and achieving potentially the exact opposite of what they intend,” added Mackie.
Many of the people that took part travelled to London from other areas, including pastor Henry Hilderbrandt from the Church of God in Alymer.
Similar events were held across southwestern Ontario Saturday.