A member of the federal Liberal government once again saw his stay in Vancouver interrupted by pro-Palestinian demonstrators.
On Saturday evening, during a town hall on the opioid epidemic, Vancouver Granville MP Taleeb Noormohamed was confronted by a group of protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Noormohamed was meeting with drug rights groups and community members when protesters, both outside and inside the venue, disrupted the event.
The discussion about the drug crisis continued, and after the event, Noormohamed took time to speak with many of the protesters still present.
Part of the interaction was captured by a PKBNEWS camera.
“If I were to call for a ceasefire, what do you think that would actually do? » Noormohamed asked a protester.
“That would put pressure on our government to also call for a ceasefire,” the protester responded.
Noormohamed spoke with PKBNEWS after the event.
“We need to make sure that Canadians, Muslims and Jews in this country, do not pay the price in safety and security for what is happening there,” Noormohamed said.
“I hope that by having conversations, by including people in the conversation even if they are difficult, we create a space where people feel heard.”
Saturday’s confrontation comes just days after protesters confronted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a Vancouver restaurant.
On Tuesday, Trudeau was dining at Vij’s restaurant on Cambie Street when protesters surrounded the front of the establishment.
They demanded a ceasefire in Gaza.
Trudeau then went to another restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown where about 250 protesters showed up, police said, and nearly 100 officers were deployed to the scene.
Vancouver police confirmed Wednesday that a 27-year-old man was arrested for punching a police officer and gouging out his eyes Tuesday night, near where Trudeau was dining. Jakub Jerzy Markiewicz faces charges of a*saulting a peace officer, a*saulting a peace officer causing bodily harm and resisting or obstructing a peace officer. He was released.
Markiewicz, who identifies himself as a “photojournalist, wedding photographer and artist,” did not respond to an email or answer the intercom when PKBNEWS visited the Coquitlam housing co-op listed as his address current.
In fashion now
At a media event Friday, Trudeau was asked about the incidents and whether he was concerned about the level of anger over the conflict in Gaza.
“We find ourselves at a moment where the intensity of the emotions, the fear and the grief that people are experiencing is making Canadians forget a little bit who we are,” Trudeau said.
“We are not a country where Canadians should be afraid of other Canadians. We are one of those places in the world where diversity has been a source of richness, depth and strength for our country. And I think we all need to commit every day to listening and having compa*sion for each other.
Markiewicz was released on several conditions, including not attending protests, not entering the city of Vancouver except to appear in court or with permission of the court, and not possessing weapons.
He is due back in court on December 6.
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— With files from Simon Little and Kristen Robinson
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