Nearly 100 police officers were deployed in Vancouver on Tuesday as pro-Palestine supporters demanded Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – who dined at two separate restaurants in the city – to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Several videos were posted by group @palsolidaritycad on Instagram over the course of Tuesday night (Nov. 14), one of which showed protesters entering a Vancouver restaurant where Trudeau was seated and forcing him to leave, and a second which showed people protesting outside another restaurant in Chinatown where he was dining.
In the first video, protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza enter the dining area while Trudeau is seated with at least one other person. Trudeau is seen getting up from his table and chatting with other restaurant patrons while being led out by security and then taking a selfie with a group.
Trudeau then went to another restaurant in Chinatown where protesters stood outside continuing their calls for a ceasefire.
In a release Wednesday, Sgt. Steve Addison said there were nearly 100 officers deployed to the Chinatown location around 10 p.m. Police said about 250 people surrounded the restaurant on Main Street, and officers were called to help with controlling and dispersing the crowd while the prime minister was escorted from the restaurant.
Addison said two people were arrested during the Chinatown protest.
A 27-year-old from Coquitlam was arrested for assaulting a Vancouver police officer, who police say was “punched in the face and had her eyes gouged while dispersing the protest.” Police say the officer received medical treatment for her injuries and the VPD is recommending charges against the man.
A 34-year-old from Vancouver was arrested for obstructing police, but he has been released from custody. The investigation is ongoing.
Trudeau was in the Lower Mainland Tuesday for an announcement on a Maple Ridge battery company planning a $1-billion expansion.
The protests against him come as 52 municipal politicians across B.C. call for a ceasefire in Gaza. The open letter was signed by municipal officials who represent 29 local governments, while also calling for the federal government to push for unrestricted aid in Gaza and the release of all hostages.
“As local government elected officials across BC, we are horrified and heartbroken by the crisis in Israel and Gaza. As of November 12, over an estimated 11,000 Palestinians and an estimated 1,200 Israelis have lost their lives since the devastating Hamas terrorist attack on October 7. Ultimately, even one life lost is too many.”