Multiple people arrested at pro-Palestinian march in Toronto

By News Staff

Multiple people were taken into custody following a pro-Palestinian rally and march through the downtown core on Saturday.

Toronto police say the driver of a truck towing a trailer was taken into custody for contravening the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). The man was allegedly driving with occupants in the bed of the truck while it was in motion. He has been charged with stunt driving and his licence has been suspended for 30 days while the truck has been impounded for 14 days.

“For safety reasons, officers have been cautioning demonstration organizers (and drivers specifically) for over a month about not having people in the bed of the truck or attached trailer while it is in motion,” police spokesperson Cst. Laurie McCann tells CityNews.

“We made it clear that this stipulation would be in effect at all demonstrations. Demonstrators ignored that direction and the driver of the truck was arrested and charged accordingly under the HTA.”

Police say while they were seizing the truck, demonstrators became aggressive and assaultive towards officers.

It is alleged that one woman threw horse manure at officers while another woman intentionally used a flagpole to “spear” at an officer. Assia Rami, 24, and Celeste Xiaoying Furlotte-Bois, 27, of Toronto have both been charged with assaulting a peace officer with a weapon.

Investigators say while officers were arresting someone, several people interfered with the arrest. Four males were taken into custody for breach of the peace, and three were later released unconditionally.

One man was found to be wanted on a warrant for an unrelated matter and has been turned over to provincial police.

In a statement issued late Sunday, police say they employed “appropriate and necessary” force in order to preserve public and officer safety.

“Protestors were free to depart the event at any time,” said police.

The Toronto Police Association also issued a statement Sunday, saying their members attend these protests to ensure that “people can protest safely, peacefully and respectfully,” adding officers deserve the same respect they extend to the protesters.

Saturday’s demonstration was in observance of “Land Day,” marking 48 years since the Israeli government announced a plan to seize Palestinian land.

Organizers of the rally once again called on Canada to demand a permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, an arms embargo and sanctions against Israel.

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