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

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 delayed the start of 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.

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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.

Menzies did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

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