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Canadian anti-vaccine protests moving away from hospitals: organizer

Last Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:12 am EDT

An ambulance passes through a crowd of people protesting COVID-19 vaccine passports and mandatory vaccinations for health-care workers, in Vancouver on Sept. 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

LONDON, Ont. – One of the women behind the group organizing protests at hospitals across Canada says they won’t be protesting at medical centres anymore.

Kristen Nagle with Canadian Frontline Nurses says in an Instagram video that the group had chosen hospitals as their gathering places because unlike protests at city halls, rallies at hospitals are hard to ignore.

READ MORE: Anti-vax-passport protests held at Calgary, Edmonton hospitals

But having those protests at places that provide critical care has opened protesters up to hate, Nagle says.

Protesters have been widely criticized by medical professionals, politicians, and people online for targeting hospitals and other medical centres.

In Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney and Justice Minister Kaycee Madu have said protesters blocking critical infrastructure can be slapped with hefty fines starting at $10,000 for a first offense.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke out against the protests on social media.

“It’s unacceptable to block someone from entering a hospital or clinic, or to threaten a health care professional who’s providing care to a patient,” he wrote.

Nagle claims the protests were supposed to be silent vigils to honour those impacted by COVID-19 health measures and that counter-protesters and media “twisted” the sentiment.

She says protests will continue after the group takes a break to shift focus, recharge, and “rebuild credibility.”