News

Trudeau escorted from restaurant during Palestinian protest

Pro-Palestinian protest turns violent at US Democratic HQ

By AFP

November 16, 2023 10:01 AM


Representational image

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was escorted to safety as police broke up a pro-Palestinian protest outside a restaurant in Vancouver where he was dining, authorities said Wednesday.

A crowd of about 250 pro-Palestinian supporters waving flags and chanting for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war surrounded the venue in the city's Chinatown district on Tuesday evening.

Police said in a statement that 100 officers "assisted in controlling and dispersing the crowd, while the prime minister was escorted out of the restaurant."

One man was arrested for obstruction while another was held for assaulting an officer who was punched in the face and had her eyes gouged.

Vancouver police Sergeant Steve Addison told a news conference that "the actions of the protestors, such as blocking the lane behind the restaurant caused a concern."

https://twitter.com/sahouraxo/status/1724861316437852435

Earlier, Trudeau was heckled at another restaurant owned by celebrity chef Vikram Vij in a different part of the Pacific coast city.

Videos shown by local media showed a handful of protestors entering Vij's restaurant and shouting at the prime minister to demand a ceasefire in Gaza.

Trudeau said at an event earlier Tuesday that the killing "of women, of children, of babies" in the Israel-Hamas war must stop, sparking a strong rebuke from Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Protest turns violent at US Democratic HQ

Scores of pro-Palestinian protesters on Wednesday night clashed with police outside the national headquarters of the Democratic Party in a melee that forced a lockdown of nearby offices of the US Congress.

"Our officers are working to keep back approximately 150 people who are illegally and violently protesting" near the party offices, the US Capitol Police said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

"Officers are making arrests."

Police escorted legislators who were at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) offices at the time out of the building to safety.

The protesters were calling for a ceasefire and an end to military activity by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Six police officers were treated for injuries "ranging from minor cuts to being pepper sprayed to being punched," Capitol Police posted later in the evening after protesters were cleared out.

"Was just evacuated from the #DNC after pro-terrorist, anti-#Israel protestors grew violent, pepper spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building," California lawmaker Brad Sherman posted on X.

"Thankful to the police officers who stopped them and for helping me and my colleagues get out safely," wrote Sherman, a Democrat.

Another legislator, Sean Casten of Illinois, chided the protesters for "blocking all entries to a building with multiple members of Congress in it," which he said left police dangerously unaware of their intent.

Casten posted on X that he, too, was "rescued by armed officers."

Photos posted on social media showed protesters wearing black T-shirts stenciled with "Cease Fire Now" in white letters scuffling with police officers trying to pull them away from the building's entrance.

Security agents ordered lawmakers and their staff in buildings near the US Capitol, close to the DNC building, to stay inside.

"Significant demonstration activity, no entry or exit is permitted at this time. You may move throughout the buildings," a security alert said.

The violent demonstration came a day after many thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in a pro-Israel rally.


AFP


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