April 24th, 2024

Police arrest two at protest outside Trudeau event, including Rebel News host

By The Canadian Press on March 17, 2024.

Police clash with protesters outside a fundraising event for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Toronto, Friday, March 15, 2024. Rebel News personality David Menzies was among those charged on Friday as a large gathering of pro-Palestinian protesters rallied outside a downtown Toronto hotel where Trudeau was attending a Liberal party fundraiser.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey

Toronto Police say they arrested two people at a pro-Palestinian protest that took place outside 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.

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.

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.

In an email sent Saturday evening, Menzies compared the most recent arrest to his encounter with RCMP at the Freeland event and described both as “illegal.”

“I was peacefully doing public interest journalism in a public place when police suddenly grabbed me, arrested me and took me to jail where they held me for more than four hours,” he wrote.

He said he’s consulting with lawyers to decide whether to pursue legal action against Toronto Police.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2024.

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