Some pro-Palestinian protesters made themselves at home at the Guelph constituency office of MP Lloyd Longfield.
A number of demonstrations were held at the offices of 17 Members of Parliament across Canada on Monday, including Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, to protest the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas.
Many of the demonstrators managed to infiltrate the offices during operating hours. Longfield said his was one of them.
“It obviously was emotional and loud but (the protesters) were not a threat to the safety of the people in the office,” said Longfield who was in Ottawa at the time.
“But after two-and-a-half hours, we did have Guelph Police Service get involved because it became disruptive not only to our office but also the offices in the building that we share.”
The demonstrations were organized by a group called the Palestinian Youth Movement. They were demanding that the federal government take action and called for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
During the sit-in, protesters read out names of Palestinians that were killed by what they claim was the result of an attack by Israel in response to the one by the terrorist group Hamas on Oct. 7.
“We’ve got a terrorist organization that are on the offensive,” said Longfield. “The Jewish community are also affected… the Muslim community are feeling vulnerable. The biggest concern that we have is the innocent people that are literally caught in the crossfire when Hamas has done what they’ve done.”
There were no reports of injuries and no charges were laid as a result. Longfield said his office has seen protests before but did offer an apology to the other tenants in the building for the disruption that this one caused.
“People we shared the space with all had similar reaction to ours which is protests are part of democracy,” Longfield said.
“But the interruption of the businesses was something that we were concerned with.”