May 27th, 2024

Police order B.C. woman who praised Hamas not to protest for 5 months, says her group

By The Canadian Press on May 2, 2024.

VANCOUVER – A pro-Palestinian activist group says its international co-ordinator, who was arrested in a Vancouver hate-crime investigation, was released with an order not to attend any protests for the next five months.

The Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network says Charlotte Kates was arrested by Vancouver police after she gave a speech last week praising the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas as “heroic and brave.”

Samidoun, an international activist group based in Vancouver that has organized protests about the Israel-Hamas war, says in a statement that Kates was briefly detained by police before being released on condition she not attend any “protests, rallies or assemblies,” until a court date on Oct. 8.

It says Kates has been charged, but a spokeswoman for the B.C. Prosecution Service says it does not have a file on Kates and is waiting for a report from police to the Crown.

The Samidoun statement calls the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas “a legitimate military operation,” however Hamas is designated as a terrorist entity in Canada.

The attack killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, setting off Israel’s offensive in Gaza that the health ministry there says has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians.

Samidoun did not immediately respond when asked if Kates herself wrote the statement, issued late Wednesday.

Vancouver police did not respond Thursday to a request for comment, but previously said a 44-year-old woman had been arrested over a speech last Friday in which she “referred to a number of terrorist organizations as heroes.”

Samidoun is a federally registered non-profit that is based in an East Vancouver home that is also registered as Kates’s address.

It has been involved in promoting or organizing numerous pro-Palestinian protests since Oct. 7, including an encampment that began this week at the University of British Columbia.

Video of Friday’s rally shows a woman leading the crowd outside the Vancouver Art Gallery in a chant of “long live Oct. 7” and calling the attackers “heroic and brave.”

B.C. Premier David Eby said Monday the speech was “the most hateful” he could imagine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2024.

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