Trudeau takes a knee at anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill

Trudeau takes a knee at anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau knelt on the ground as part of a crowd gathered on Parliament Hill Friday afternoon, in solidarity with anti-racism demonstrators protesting police killings of black people, Trend reports citing CityNews.

The demonstration is one of multiple events in Canada, following days of demonstrations against racism and police brutality in numerous American cities.

Trudeau had declined to say earlier Friday whether he would attend, but arrived on Parliament Hill in mid-afternoon with security guards, wearing a black cloth mask.

Some in the crowd shouted at him to stand up to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trudeau clapped and nodded in response to many of the things said by speakers at the front of the crowd, including one who said there is no middle ground on the issue.

“You are either a racist or an anti-racist,” the speaker said.

He gave a similar response when the crowd starting chanting: “Black lives matter.”

In Toronto, as officers generally kept a low profile, more than 1,000 people walked peacefully in blazing sunshine chanting, “I can’t breathe,” “No justice, no peace,” or “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Others held signs reading “Racism is a pandemic, too” or “Silence is violence.”

They later massed in a sudden downpour, kneeling and raising clenched right fists, with most then dispersing.

The demonstrations followed protests across the U.S. after a video showed a white Minneapolis officer kneeling on the neck of a black man, George Floyd, for nearly nine minutes even as he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. Floyd fell still and died, the officer’s knee still on him.

Reports and video of problematic police encounters with minorities in Canada have also surfaced recently.

“We’re fed up. We need change and we do not trust police,” said one protester, John Coleman. “Black lives really matter.”

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders and other uniformed officers met a group of protesters, then Saunders removed his hat, and took a knee at a downtown intersection near police headquarters.

“We see you and we are listening,” Saunders, who is black, tweeted after the meeting. “We have to all stay in this together to make change.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford praised Saunders’ action, calling it “true leadership.”

Several businesses on downtown Yonge Street and area boarded up their windows in anticipation of Friday’s protest and others planned for the city over the weekend. The landmark Eaton Centre closed until Monday as a precaution.

“Even though Toronto boarded up everything — they must have thought that we were going to be on some crazy hooligan stuff that they only show on the news — but we actually came out here for positivity to get our message out,” said one participant, Blake Gabriel.

Another protester, Junae Watson, said she wanted to show black people are equal to other races.

“People have this conception that Canada doesn’t have a lot of racism, which isn’t true,” Watson said.

Earlier Friday, Trudeau called videos and reports from across the country in recent weeks “disturbing.” Those include an encounter between an Indigenous man and the RCMP in Nunavut.

While each case needed to be investigated, Trudeau said the larger issue of systemic racism in policing was long-standing and needed addressing.

“Far too many Canadians feel fear and anxiety at the sight of law enforcement officers,” Trudeau said. “Over the past weeks, we’ve seen a large number of Canadians suddenly awaken to the fact that the discrimination that is a lived reality for far too many of our fellow citizens is something that needs to end.”

Change, he said, needed to start immediately but would not happen overnight.

In Ottawa, demonstrators planned to march from Parliament Hill through Ottawa’s streets in an event organized by No Peace Until Justice, formed by a young black woman. The goal was to bring together black activists and organizations and allies to stand in solidarity against police brutality and societal racism.

Organizers asked police to stay away and said they had not invited Mayor Jim Watson, who had said he would attend. The group also said it opposed all live-streaming and video or photos to protect the identity and safety of those attending.

For their part, Ottawa police said public safety was a shared responsibility.

“You have a right to be heard,” the police service said on Thursday. “We will support that right by ensuring your safety.”

Hundreds also gathered at city hall in Barrie, Ont., to call for justice for black people.

In Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump said about strong job numbers: “Hopefully George (Floyd) is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country. It’s a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody.”

Croatia holds parliamentary elections amid COVID-19 resurgence
Croatia holds parliamentary elections amid COVID-19 resurgence
Turkey unveils volume of cargo transshipment from Ukraine via its ports
Turkey unveils volume of cargo transshipment from Ukraine via its ports
Shell CEO does not rule out moving headquarters to Britain
Shell CEO does not rule out moving headquarters to Britain
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for July 5
EIB’s involvement in Azerbaijan focused on social and economic infrastructure
Tokyo confirms 111 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, NHK says
Facebook - leader among social networks in Azerbaijan
TOP-10 Azerbaijani private companies for non-oil export
Oil transportation via Batman Dortyol pipeline through Turkey up
Google Chrome's share in Azerbaijan's browser market grows
Iran launches second phase of Persian Gulf Star Refinery
Azerbaijani Bank BTB’s profit up in 2019
Mexico surpasses France in coronavirus death toll
Digitalization - driver of Azerbaijan’s economic growth
Croatia holds parliamentary elections amid COVID-19 resurgence
Reforms in Uzbekistan attract more Indian businesses
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 43 times
Georgia sees increase in Producer Price Index
1,452 new coronavirus cases detected in Kazakhstan for the past day
Rapper Kanye West announces U.S. presidential bid on Twitter
Zarif says will publish letters on how to activate dispute resolution mechanism
IFC talks development of solar photovoltaic parks in Uzbekistan
7 dead due to heavy rains, flooding in southwestern Japan
Moscow's death toll from confirmed coronavirus cases rises by 24 to 3,953
Iran files lawsuit against U.S. over sanctions amid COVID-19 fight
Turkey's daily COVID-19 cases drop slightly for 5th day
WHO halts hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs in COVID trials after failure to reduce death
WHO reports single-day increase in coronavirus cases by over 212,000
A patient with a coronavirus died in Bukhara region
Two new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Georgia
Azerbaijan to simplify its int'l road transport movement with new e-technology
Turkey's cement export to Iraq drops
Fire in power plant in SW Iran contained
TRACECA to implement pilot project on applying electronic permits
Azerbaijani university opens tender on repair work
Azerbaijan confirms 534 new COVID-19 cases
AZAL to perform another additional special flight to Istanbul
1 dead, 3 wounded in U.S. nightclub shooting
Brazil reports over 1.5 mln COVID-19 cases, with 63,174 deaths
Azerbaijan to increase share of renewables in electricity generation
Azerbaijan Investment Company purchasing shares
Foreign trade operations between Azerbaijan, Malaysia almost double
Volume of S.Korean goods import to Azerbaijan grows
Turkmenistan to start second stage of cement plant construction in Lebap region
New tourist zone to open in Baku (PHOTO)
BSTDB may release second tranche of manat bonds
Azerbaijani Kapital Bank expanding mortgage lending
State Commodity Exchange of Turkmenistan reveals data for 1H2020
Azerbaijan-Mexico five-month trade turnover increases
Turkey unveils volume of cargo transshipment from Ukraine via its ports
Activity of Iran's Aras Free Zone skyrockets, compared to last year
Talks over Energy Charter Treaty's modernization to start soon (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan to build new plants for mineral fertilizer production
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for July 4
Georgia sees increase in prices of real estate for rent in suburbs
Suicide car bomber hits checkpoint at Somalia's Mogadishu port
Shell CEO does not rule out moving headquarters to Britain
Fitch Ratings: Growth in Azerbaijan's insurance sector depends on regulated tariffs
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's precious metals market (June 26-July 3)
Oil transportation via Ceyhan-Kirikkale pipeline through Turkey up
Lithuania considers transport co-op with Kazakhstan among top priorities
Samarkand Automobile Plant in Uzbekistan to produce ambulances
Uzbekistan increases number of refrigerated cargo wagons
Indonesia reports 1,447 new coronavirus infections
Overall production up in Turkmenistan with major part falling on private sector
China allocates humanitarian aid to Kazakhstan, backing anti-COVID battle
Turkmenistan reveals its oil production data for 1H2020
Iran's government stays committed to raising production
Uzbekistan receiving humanitarian aid from US charities
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market (June 26-July 3)
Azerbaijan's Bank BTB increases its total liabilities
Georgian municipality reveals volume of potato harvest
India coronavirus cases hit record high amid monsoon rains
Litzenberger: US, Azerbaijan share important partnership (VIDEO)
Russia's coronavirus cases near 675,000, death toll passes 10,000
Australia's Victoria reports 108 new coronavirus cases, biggest jump since March
UNEC brand was also known in Estonia
Uzbekistan to direct IDA's loan on urgent COVID-19-response measures
Least attractive Kazakh economy sectors for French companies revealed
Turkmenistan's cargo transportation for 1H2020 revealed
Turkmenistan's GDP increases in 1H2020
Tokyo new coronavirus infections over 100 for third day
Seven police hurt in violence at London music event
Europe to supply Asian countries with olive products through Georgia
Georgia reports new cases of coronavirus
Brazil health regulator Anvisa allows Chinese COVID-19 vaccine trial
Kazakhstan's import of Canada-made goods nearly twofold down
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 42 times
Azerbaijan's SOCAR Polymer planning to produce next polypropylene batch
Aeromexico shares rise for second day despite missed debt payment
Kazakhstan’s oil producing company to buy pipes via tender
Kyrgyzstan’s COVID-19 cases reach 7,094
Kazakhstan confirms 1,644 new coronavirus cases over past 24 hours
Israeli PM asks citizens to follow COVID-19 restrictions due to surge in morbidity
Air France set to cut more than 7,500 jobs
Turkey nearly halves leather export to Uzbekistan
Iran cuts import of electrical goods from Turkey
Iran among top three countries in world for caviar producing, sturgeon farming
Brazil reports over 1.5 mln COVID-19 cases, with 63,174 deaths
Geostat reveals producer price indices for services in Georgia
Chinese mainland reports 3 new confirmed COVID-19 cases
Japan's Cokey Systems talks its activities in Uzbekistan
4 dead in small plane crash in Utah mountains
All news