2 men charged after pro-Palestinian rally outside Trudeau event, Toronto police say

Toronto police say two men were arrested on Friday after pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied outside a downtown hotel where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was appearing at a Liberal party fundraiser.

Protest organizers had earlier promised to disrupt the event at the King Edward Hotel, insisting in a statement that the Liberal Party of Canada could not proceed with “business as usual” amid the Israel-Hamas war.

In Toronto earlier this month, a weekend reception at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), 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. Two people were arrested in connection with the demonstration, according to police. A 61-year-old Richmond Hill man was charged with obstructing a peace officer and breaching a peace bond, officers confirmed in an email to CBC Toronto Saturday. Another man, a 25-year-old from Toronto, was charged with mischief and damage to property.

Police would not confirm whether the accused were with the pro-Palestinian demonstrators or with the counter-protesters.

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.


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