Mon, 04 Dec 2023

Vancouver police deployed 100 officers to safely escort Justin Trudeau away from angry activists

Two people were arrested after some 250 pro-Palestine protesters surrounded a Vancouver restaurant where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was dining on Tuesday night, police said.

According to Vancouver Police Department spokesman Steve Addison, 100 officers were deployed to disperse the crowd while Trudeau was escorted out of an unnamed eatery in Chinatown.

An officer was hospitalized after a protester punched her and attempted to gouge her eyes, Addison said. Police used a Taser to subdue the 27-year-old suspect, who remains in custody. A second man was arrested for obstructing police and later released.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trudeau was accosted by protesters at an Indian restaurant in a different part of the city. A video posted to social media shows activists confronting the prime minister when he was sitting at the table. They called for a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militants in Gaza, chanting "Shame on you!" and "Justin Trudeau, you fund genocide!" The prime minister quickly left the premises without interacting with the activists.

Charlotte Kates, an organizer with the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network who attended both protests, told reporters that activists demanded that Canada "take a real position" on Israel's military operation in Gaza.

Trudeau on Tuesday urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "exercise maximum restraint" in its conflict with Gaza. The IDF bombardment of the enclave has killed over 11,000 Palestinians so far, according to Gazan officials. Israel declared war on Hamas on October 7 in response to a raid by the militant group which left 1,200 Israelis dead.

Netanyahu rejected Trudeau's criticism, maintaining that the Israeli army does not deliberately target civilians and insisting that Hamas bears the responsibility for all deaths in Gaza.


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