Tensions ran high and violence broke out near Confederation Park on Saturday afternoon in Peterborough where hundreds of people gathered for what was supposed to be opposing rallies.
Peterborough Police say a male and a female were engaged in a shouting match and during the dispute, an officer was assaulted and a woman was arrested for allegedly assaulting the officer.
She was placed in a police cruiser, police obtained her information, and was later released from custody.
In addition, a male was arrested on the south side of Confederation Park after allegedly assaulting another male and causing injury to the victim’s mouth. 22-year-old Owen Lucas, of Wolfe Street, was arrested and is being held in custody.
This was all in response to a planned anti-immigration and anti-Trudeau rally by the Canadian Nationals Front, a group some claim has ties to white supremacists.
However, the City of Peterborough denied the organizers a permit.
Kevin Goudreau is the chairman of the Canadian Nationalist Front. He says although he missed the deadline to apply, the permit gives exclusive use of the public space, something he says he isn’t looking for and that is why he planned to go ahead with the event as planned.
The whole controversy got the attention of a couple of opposing rallies.
One was a community effort, billed as a “solidarity weekend.” Hundreds of people showed up at Emmanuel United Church on George Street where for several hours they spread messages of love and inclusion with activities, music, painting and chanting.
The other rally was a gathering of those calling themselves “Peterborough Against Fascism.” They came decked out in masks and would not speak on camera. With signs and chants, the group made its way through the streets.
Although there wasn’t an official anti-immigration rally, Global News witnessed a fight between the anti-fascist protesters and two alleged members of the anti-immigration rally in the middle of George Street.
Global News spoke with Goudreau on the phone who said he is not here to insinuate hate but to speak up for what he calls the majority of Canadians who are against Trudeau and his immigration policies.
Police say Goudreau did not attend the rally as they continued to patrol the area near George and McDonnel streets Saturday afternoon to pre-empt another incident.