On Monday, an unsettling altercation unfolded outside the British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix’s office in Vancouver. Pro-mask advocates gathered to call for the reinstatement of mask mandates in healthcare settings. An organized counter-protest soon followed. Initially, both sides seemed willing to co-exist, but the situation escalated, culminating in a violent encounter.
Caught on video by Press For Truth’s Dan Dicks, two pro-mask supporters engaged in a scuffle with an elderly counter-protester identified as Rob. Footage shows Rob’s signs—one reading “CBC is gov funded media”—being snatched from his hands. When he resisted, Rob was knocked to the ground. “Stay the f— down, you’re done,” one of the pro-mask activists told him, claiming Rob had “attacked” the other individual. Rob, however, didn’t back down and pursued the activists who had taken his signs.
The incident has raised concerns about the lengths to which some are willing to go to assert their opinions on pandemic protocols, straying far from civil discourse and peaceful protest.
What is especially alarming is the targeted nature of the attack. Before the altercation, Rob told CityNews reporters, “I’ve never worn a mask, and I will continue to not wear a mask,” asserting that it was still legal not to wear one. His comment signifies that the conflict wasn’t just a spontaneous escalation but an aggressive act against someone with an opposing viewpoint.
The event was organized by Do No Harm, a BC-based group advocating for “evidence-based safety measures in high-risk settings.” Yet, the irony is palpable. A group calling for safety measures in healthcare settings had supporters who compromised the personal safety of an elderly individual in a public space.
A fight broke out at a Vancouver, Canada protest demanding the return of Covid masking. pic.twitter.com/wNrC50AC7x
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) August 29, 2023
While the circumstances leading to the brawl remain unclear, conservative journalist Andy Ngo shared the video on X, formerly Twitter, stating, “A fight broke out at a Vancouver, Canada protest demanding the return of Covid masking.” The incident comes when COVID-19 cases have increased by 11% in Canada over the past week. Moreover, it raises questions about whether the divisive nature of pandemic policies is replacing rational dialogue with violent confrontations.
British Columbia lifted its universal mask mandate in healthcare settings on April 6, but mandates remain for high-risk areas. As places across the U.S. reinstate masking requirements due to rising COVID-19 cases and new variants, the tension surrounding these policies is palpable, and it’s crossing borders.
Here is a local news report showing interviews with the protestors demanding the return of masking mandates: