‘Only the beginning’: Hundreds protest Western University vaccine mandate

The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, August 27, 2022 2:36PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 27, 2022 4:01PM EDT

LONDON, Ont. – A student organizer behind Saturday’s protest against Western University’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate says the demonstration is “only the beginning” in the push to overturn the controversial policy.

Hundreds of people gathered on campus to hear speakers denounce the London, Ont., university’s decision to mandate at least three vaccine doses for staff, students and some visitors.

Organizer Kendra Hancock says she hopes the demonstration will lead to public negotiations and further student consultation over the university’s rules, which also include mandatory masking in classrooms.

Speakers included a former professor at Western-affiliated Huron University College, who says she refused to comply with the school’s previous vaccine mandate, as well as the Haldimand-Norfolk health unit’s acting chief medical officer of health who has been an outspoken critic of COVID-19 mandates.

Students carrying a banner reading “Enough is Enough” led a march around the university grounds as campus security looked on.

Just as the march neared its end, some demonstrators split from the organizers and briefly took over one lane of traffic for a block along Western Road before dispersing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 27, 2022.