Police kept order during a rally in Churchill Square Saturday organized by self-described Canadian nationalists opposed to the United Nations.
Adopting the yellow safety vests worn by French protesters agitating against higher fuel prices, living costs and tax fairness, about 100 ralliers were confronted by a slightly smaller group of counter protesters during the Saturday afternoon rally.
Police kept the factions on either side of the red brick lines dividing the downtown Edmonton square. While previous events have become heated, Postmedia did not witness any fights or arrests during the first hour of the event.
The group organizing the rally, called the National Citizens Alliance, warned on its Facebook page that militant “antifa” — short for anti-fascist — members would seek to disrupt the event and that they had plans to “neutralize” them.
Speakers railed against a melange of topics, including the Trudeau government, “mass” immigration, lack of market access for oil and gas, Shariah law, free speech, a perceived marginalization of heterosexual people and restrictions on firearms ownership.
Much of their ire was reserved for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, a non-binding UN document that aims to foster “co-operation on international migration in all its dimensions.” Speakers said it would lead to unsustainable mass migration, though the compact itself has no control over Canada’s immigration levels.