A slow-rolling convoy of protesters against public health mandates wound its way through Kingston on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, but was thwarted from passing by its intended destination, Kingston City Hall, by a group of counter-protesters.
The convoy of about 60 to 75 passenger vehicles gathered at the car park on Highway 38 shortly before 1 p.m., and began its circuitous route through Kingston, down Gardiners Road, Bath Road, Portsmouth Avenue, King Street, and Sir John A Macdonald Boulevard, before getting onto Princess Street and making its way towards the downtown area. Small groups of counter-protesters temporarily blocked the convoy’s path at various points along the route.
Meanwhile, in front of City Hall on Ontario Street, two large groups of about equal size gathered on separate sides of the street – on the west side of the road, mostly supporters of the convoy, and on the east side, mostly counter-protesters. A few dozen police officers from Kingston Police, as well as assisting officers from Brockville Police, Smiths Falls Police, and Belleville Police Services were on scene to maintain the peace.
As the slow-rolling convoy approached City Hall, counter-protesters began to block the roadway, moving wooden barricades onto the street to stop vehicles from crossing. Initially, police officers removed the barricades but, shortly thereafter, opted to re-erect the barricades on the roadway to keep the counter-protesters and vehicle convoy separate. After a stand-off of a few minutes, the lead convoy vehicle reversed and, giving a prolonged honk, rerouted the convoy onto Brock Street.
The convoy circled around Brock Street, Market Street, Princess Street and Ontario Street a few times before dispersing. Ontario Street was reopened to traffic by about 3:30 p.m. More to come.