Police arrest two at pro-Palestinian rally that delayed Trudeau event in Toronto

By The Canadian Press

Toronto Police say they arrested two people at a pro-Palestinian protest that delayed the start of an event featuring the prime minister, and those facing charges include a reporter for online media outlet Rebel News.

Police say two men were arrested Friday at the rally outside the King Edward Hotel, where Justin Trudeau appeared as the guest of honour at a Liberal Party fundraiser.

Police say one man was charged with mischief damage to property, while another they identified as David Menzies was charged with obstructing a peace officer and breaching a peace bond.

Both Rebel News and Menzies later issued statements on X, formerly Twitter, confirming his arrest and saying it came about as he was trying to interview demonstrators on camera. A video posted by the outlet shows the commentator being taken away by police after attempting to interview some protesters.

Menzies has been arrested multiple times in interactions with both Liberal and Conservative politicians, most recently in January outside a Richmond Hill, Ont., event involving Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. An RCMP officer providing security for the minister made the arrest while Menzies was trying to ask questions, and York Regional Police later said he was released unconditionally after it was determined there was no credible security threat.

Menzies did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

Protest organizers issued a statement ahead of the event saying the demonstration was meant to send a message to the Liberal Party of Canada that it could not proceed with “business as usual” amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

In Toronto earlier this month, a weekend reception at the Art Gallery of Ontario, featuring Trudeau and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, was cancelled after demonstrators blocked entrances.

Police described Friday’s rally as a “large demonstration” that forced closures. 

As protesters assembled outside the hotel, many waving Palestinian flags, Trudeau was in a nearby Irish pub, hoisting what appeared to be pint of Guinness ahead of St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday. 

The prime minister then entered the hotel through a side entrance, before making a brief speech to party supporters. 

In an interview ahead of the event, Dalia Awwad of the Palestinian Youth Movement said protest organizers had expected a large turnout as this was the first Friday in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, adding that people had plenty of warning about the event. 

“With the AGO action, folks had less notice about it taking place,” she said, referring to the rally outside the art gallery earlier this month. 

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today