“During the incident, an Eaton Centre security guard was assaulted,” police wrote. “No injuries were suffered by security staff members or protesters.”
TPS arrested Michael Leaf, 29, and Vanessa Carvalho, 23, and charged them both with assault. The two of them are expected in court on December 15.
Videos surfaced on social media following the protests that took place at the Yonge and Dundas Street mall, where prominent anti-mask protestor Chris Sky was seen speaking to the crowds.
Throngs of people tried to push their way through the Eaton Centre’s entrance, with police and security blocking them.
“Let us through!” one protester shouted in the video. “There’s multiple entrances,” another kept saying before the crowd started chanting “freedom” in unison.
On Sunday, September 26, Toronto Mayor John Tory weighed in on the protests on Twitter.
“What we saw outside the Eaton Centre on Saturday is illegal behaviour and police are treating it as such,” Tory said. “I know the vast majority of people are angered and frustrated by these anti-vaccine, anti-mask protests – I am too. The protesters are spreading misinformation, harassing innocent people and businesses, and showing no respect for police, security or the rule of law. I support any action taken by police to address this and I’m sure most members of the public do as well.”
On the morning of Monday, September 27, Minister of Health Christine Elliott spoke about the protests in a press conference.
“We recognize that people have the right to demonstrate peacefully, that is within their rights,” Elliott began. “But not to get into angry confrontations, not to fight with police, not to fight against the rules that we already have that are encouraging people to be vaccinated.”
Ontario implemented its vaccine certificate program on September 22, which requires Ontarians to provide proof of vaccination at indoor public spaces like restaurants, movie theatres and sporting events.
In Ontario, a vaccine passport is required to access some events, services and businesses, including restaurants and bars.