6 arrested in Toronto as pro-Palestinian demonstrators stage sit-ins at MP offices
Posted October 31, 2023 8:58 am.
Last Updated October 31, 2023 9:07 am.
A number of protesters were arrested in Toronto on Monday as pro-Palestinian demonstrators staged sit-ins at federal politicians offices across the country.
The Palestinian Youth Movement coordinated the sit-ins at the offices of 17 MPs in a dozen Canadian cities. The staged rallies saw demonstrators calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as they provided a list of demands for the federal government.
In addition to the end of military action in Gaza, Dalia Awwad, a member of the group, says they are demanding “an end of Canadian complicity in the crimes Israel is committing in Palestine.”
Toronto police say six people were arrested for trespassing on Monday afternoon at the office of Justice Minister Arif Virani near Bloor and Dundas streets in the High Park area. Police say the people who were arrested were removed from the premises and released with a provincial offence notice for trespassing.
The constituency office of Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, near Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue, was also the site of one of the sit-ins. Protesters spent several hours inside her office, reading the names of Palestinians who have died in the latest Israel-Hamas war, singing and chanting, before leaving the premises.
“We’re actually being forced out right now,” one of the demonstrators told CityNews through FaceTime. “We’re going to sing our way out.”
A sit-in also took place at National Defence Minister Bill Blair’s Scarborough office.
No injuries were reported at any of the rallies in Toronto.
Five more people were arrested as another group of demonstrators calling for ceasefire in Gaza rallied outside a factory in North York on Monday morning.
Toronto police say the arrests were made during a demonstration outside the INKAS Armored Vehicle manufacturing plant near Weston Road and Finch Avenue. Organizers of the rally claim the company is helping arm the Israeli military.
More than 10,000 have been killed in the latest Israel-Hamas war.
The death toll among Palestinians passed 8,300, the Gaza Health Ministry said Monday. Over 1,400 people have died on the Israeli side, mainly civilians killed during Hamas’ initial attack on Oct. 7.
With files from CityNews reporter Michelle Mackey