COVID-19: Kelowna RCMP issues its second $2,300 fine to an antimask protest organizer

In Vancouver, police prefer standing on the sidelines and just observing these types of demonstrations

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      The Mounties are starting to make people pay for encouraging others to gather in the streets to violate public-health recommendations.

      This weekend, the Kelowna RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to an organizer of a Saturday antimask rally.

      According to CBC News, it's the second time that an antimask protest organizer has received one of these penalities.

      In Vancouver, on the other hand, city police have been reluctant to fine organizers of weekly demonstrations on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery in šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl'e7énḵ Square.

      For example, on New Year's Eve, the VPD observed a group of about 150 maskless people holding a dance party at that location. It was organized over Facebook by a group called Hugs Over Masks.

      One woman was arrested after she climbed on a statue. The VPD stated in a news release that she bit one of its members, resulting in a charge of assaulting a police officer.

      The VPD also arrested a 24-year-old man who repeatedly hosted parties in his Vancouver apartment. In addition, police fined a Davie Street restaurant owner who violated a public health order by serving alcohol after a deadline to a large group of patrons on New Year's Eve.

      The VPD stated that there were 100 people present, but the owner told Global B.C. News that there were 38 customers on the premises.

      But the VPD appears to have taken the approach that punishment might actually reduce compliance with public health recommendations.

      Two RMIT University professors in Melbourne, Australia, wrote an article on The Conversation website that highlighted research about the potential downside of more enforcement measures.

      "Economists Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini, for example, conducted an experiment in Israel to discourage parents picking up their children from day care late by introducing fines," they wrote. "The result: lateness actually increased. Fines became a price, used by parents as a way to buy time."

      Antimasker Marco Pietro thinks it's a good thing that Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
      Facebook screen shot

      "Guns are good," says one activist 

      Meanwhile, one of B.C. better-known antimask activists, Marco Pietro, has posted a lengthy video on Facebook expressing happiness over the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

      Pietro alleged that a "lot of bad actors", including Antifa supporters, were responsible for any shots fired.

      "There's a lot of things that we can take from what's going on in D.C. that's positive," Pietro declared. "We should be trying to apply these things across all borders, like all countries."

      He added that people should do this "If you're fed up with tyrannical bullshit".

      To him, that includes being dissatisfied with an election, lockdowns that are destroying business and families while impoverishing people, mandated vaccinations, forced testing, and travel restrictions.

      "All the rallies in the world are wonderful to a point, but at day's end, at day's end, you got to take action—and that's what I am seeing right now in D.C. right now, in Washington D.C.," Pietro said. 

      After praising the Trump supporters and again criticizing Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists, Pietro made this statement: "But they should have taken the Capitol building. People need to start doing this. Show that you're pissed off, like really get out there and show it."  

      According to Pietro, people have to "take the fight to the people".

      In addition, he described House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as "garbage" and Vice President Mike Pence as a "scumbag", maintaining that many politicians "deserve what they have coming".

      "You need hundreds of thousands of people, and you need them angry, and you need armed people," Pietro insisted "See, the problem that people don't understand is, guns are good. You shouldn't have to use them, but it sure as hell levels the playing field when you go up against, you know, the military or whatever like that."

      Last May, Pietro organized an antimask rally in Vancouver where he led 100 people on a march through the streets.

      Following his Facebook remarks, one woman expressed full agreement with him, saying "we need a civil war".

      In 2019, Mark Zuckerberg met Donald Trump, but last week, the Facebook CEO kicked the president off his platform.
      Donald Trump

      Facebook shuts down Trump

      On January 6, Facebook issued a statement claiming that it's been searching and removing content that offers praise and support for the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

      In addition, the social-media giant claimed that it's searching and removing content that includes calls to bring weapons to locations across the U.S., including to protests.

      On January 7, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced that President Donald Trump has been prohibited from using Facebook and Instagram until the inauguration of Joe Biden as president on January 20.

      "The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden," Zuckerberg declared.

      "His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world," the Facebook CEO continued. "We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect -- and likely their intent -- would be to provoke further violence."