⚠️UPDATE (March 18, 2022) ⚠️
The Beltline Neighbourhoods Association is pleased to see the temporary court injunction as a tool to help Calgary law enforcement respond to ongoing illegal, disruptive, and hateful demonstrations in the Beltline. We applaud the leadership of The City of Calgary for their support of the community by advocating for this and a permanent injunction. We are hopeful that this allows our community to return to being the vibrant, safe, and welcoming place it was before these aggressive demonstrations.
We have been touched by the outpouring of support Beltline residents have received from across Calgary. We encourage everyone who was planning to stand with residents this Saturday to still come visit: enjoy our incredible public spaces, fill our restaurants, and patios and spend money at all the amazing businesses that have suffered due to the so-called "freedom" protests. By enjoying the Beltline together, we reclaim it for our residents and all Calgarians.
Weekly “freedom” parades are taking an increasing toll on Beltline residents
For the last two years, Beltline residents have been subjected to ongoing “freedom” parades that have occupied Central Memorial Park and 17th Avenue for hours on Saturdays. The unsanctioned protests have involved a toxic cocktail of participants including anti-vaxxers, white supremacists and other extremists. While Beltline residents have lived with these ongoing protests throughout the pandemic, we are now experiencing an unacceptable decline in public safety and peace in our neighbourhoods.
“Freedom” protester blowing a train horn on 17th Ave SW, March 12, 2022. (Image source: Aryn Toombs, Livewire Calgary)
No end in sight to the excessive noise, harassment, and intimidation
Residents continue to suffer through the protestors’ excessive use of horns, occupation of Central Memorial Park and mainstreets, public harassment, stalking of masked residents, littering and public defecation by protestors, and an atmosphere of intimidation every Saturday.
Hate flags flags carried by “freedom” protesters on March 12, 2022 (Image source: Aryn Toombs, Livewire Calgary)
Businesses in the Beltline are being disrupted. Already struggling through the pandemic, these businesses are now experiencing a 15-20% decline in sales on Saturdays and threats to their employees from protestors.
Far from the crowds that descend on 17th Avenue during playoff season or Calgary Stampede, the “freedom” parade is having a chilling effect that is driving residents and visitors away from one of Calgary’s most beloved mainstreets.
In the absence of bylaw enforcement by police or any coherent objectives of the “freedom” protesters, there is currently no foreseeable end to this disruption in sight.
Beltline residents standing up for their neighbourhood on March 12, 2022. (Image source: Jody MacPherson)
Calgary Police physically assault Beltline residents defending their own neighbourhood
Calgary Police assaulted and removed Beltline residents along 4th Street and 17th Avenue this past weekend to clear the way for the weekly “freedom” parade. Police also allowed “freedom” protestors to encircle and harass Beltline residents who stood in the way of their parade, which included various hate flags. Multiple pleas from residents to police to enforce safe distance between residents and “freedom” protestors, many of whom live outside of Calgary, were mocked and dismissed. To date, organizers of the “freedom” protests have refused to apply for street or park closure permits.
Calgary Police assaulted Beltline residents standing in the way of a “freedom” parade on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Source: Twitter)
Calgary Police are refusing to enforce bylaws to manage the protests or protect public safety
In 2021, Calgary Police issued hundreds of tickets and fines to pro-Palestinian solidarity demonstrators whose convoy “deviated from the designated route.” Organizers of other recent demonstrations also faced proactive efforts by police to direct their routes and limit public disruption.
Two years into the “freedom” protests, Calgary Police continue to refuse to enforce bylaws or redirect the parades and minimize community disruption.
1. 📋 Sign the Petition
Sign the petition at the bottom of this page ⬇ to help us send the message to Calgary Police Commission that the Calgary Police can no longer continue to enable the weekly “freedom” parades in the Beltline.
📋 Sign the Petition
PETITION: We call on the Calgary Police to enforce bylaws to restore public safety and redirect the weekly “freedom” parades outside the Beltline to areas where there is less disruption to residents and businesses.
Note: The name and first three characters of the postal code of the persons who sign this petition may be made available to the public if the petition is presented to the Calgary Police Commission.
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