TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) – Darryl Mackie has had enough of lockdowns.
The Christian husband, teacher and father of five daughters has been committed to fighting for his rights as a Canadian. When COVID-19 restrictions began to get tough last year and it was evident that there was no end in sight, he began protesting at municipal government buildings in the Durham region, north of Toronto, where he lives. That was something he had never done.
Sometimes he would be the only person protesting. Long before there was talk of an experimental jab being forced on citizens, he displayed on one side of his sign, “No More Lockdowns” and “Nor Forced Vaccinations.”
Yesterday, he sat down for an interview with LifeSiteNews to talk about his work, which has brought children and Jesus Christ to the forefront of the freedom movement in the greater Toronto area.
In late spring of 2020, Mackie was given an opportunity to speak at a rally in Ottawa, and he has since spoken regularly at events for Rise Up Durham, a group committed to resisting the lockdowns in that area.
He describes himself as a “patriot” who loves his country, a man with “traditional values.” At the outset of the interview, he said, “I love our country, I love our history, I love the Lord, and I think there is a big confluence there, all of that is under attack at the same time … I am doing what I can to defend the honour of Our Lord’s name, and the honour of our country and our values.”
He said that the last 18 months – referring to COVID lockdowns – have pulled something out of him that he said he didn’t realize he had before. “It’s so easy to be complacent. I sort of didn’t mind being complacent,” he said. “I could get sucked into kind of sitting on the couch and watching TV and not having to worry about what’s going on. When times are good, you get sort of soft of weak.”
The advent of the pandemic and the lockdowns were like a wakeup call for him. Living in the Toronto area, Mackie has experienced some of the strictest restrictions in North America for some time. This caused him to respond in a way that he believes he had to in order to serve the needs of his kids and community.
“People have responded in one of two ways; you have either shrunk back down and allowed your life to be controlled and went along with it. But I find myself rising up in this … it’s really drawn more out of me then I knew that I had within me.”
His Christian faith is the primary influence in his life and his major source of strength. He relies heavily on reading the Bible. “I love the Word,” he said. In addition, he accredits some of his motivation to fellow Canadian Jordan Peterson. “Some of his things that could be considered buzz words, ‘you can become more than who you are’ or ‘apply yourself to one thing well,’ I have tried apply some of those principles and it’s been amazing.”
Many people have felt a tug by their conscience during the last 18 months and have decided to speak up and advocate for their constitutional rights, but Mackie swears that he was prompted by God to see the truth from the beginning.
When the pandemic was declared, he was vacationing in Florida with his family. “It was the weirdest time. My wife was getting this sense that something was not right, but we were enjoying our time. But when the TV came on and they made the announcement, ‘there is a global pandemic … ’ I don’t hear the voice of God very often, and I am not hesitant to say that I did, because I cannot deny that this still, small voice said ‘This is a lie.’”
Mackie is open to hearing God’s promptings, as he is a man of prayer, and from that moment of conversation with God, he says, “From that very second, I have lived my life in accordance with those words; the philosophy of ‘live not by lies.’”
In his mind, one of the greatest tragedies has been the effect on children. Everything from lack of socialization to an instillation of fear and a complete disruption of normal life has harmed children. As a result, one of the focuses of Rise Up Durham and Mackie has been to make the lives of children more enjoyable.
After Mackie met everyone from the Rise Up Durham group, the collaborative efforts has led to more initiatives. They did an “Open up Your Business” initiative along with the consistent rallies. Eventually, they started an initiative of “Family Play Dates,” which Mackie says has brought so much joy to the families and children who partake. He said, “The joy in kids’ eyes … the joy on kids’ faces when they have been locked down for so long, and they get to play baseball for the first time; you give them 30 pitches, and the crack of the bat … it was just nuts. The parents are so thankful. We had potluck lunches, and hugs and smiles the whole time.”
Mackie always includes Scripture when talking to groups: “If I have a chance to speak, I am going to give glory to God.”