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Calgary woman charged after high school protest turned into physical altercation

Two people were arrested at a transphobic protest that took place outside Western Canada High School in Calgary on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Global News

A Calgary woman has been charged after a transphobic protest at Western Canada High School in May.

Officers were on scene at the central Calgary high school for public safety during a protest that started at around 10 a.m. on May 17. Calgary police estimated the crowd numbered 80.

Police said a fight broke out between individuals in opposing sides.

“The situation escalated to a physical altercation resulting in a number of individuals assaulting one youth and one man,” CPS said in a statement.

Officers put some distance between the groups and no further physical altercations came about during the event.

Two people were arrested by police that day.

On Friday, CPS announced Taylor McNallie, 32, of Calgary, was charged with assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement.

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Hate motivation has been applied to the charges, following an investigation by the CPS hate crime prevention team.

McNallie is due to appear in court on July 7.

CPS said the investigation is ongoing and charges are pending against other individuals who were at the protest.

The demonstration at the high school was led by Josh Alexander, an Ontario teen who previously protested the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board’s decision to allow transgender teens to use bathrooms according to their gender identity.

It was also organized by True Dominion Canada, an ultra-conservative group led by Nathaniel Pawlowski, son of Calgary street preacher Artur Pawlowski.

The poster for the protest featured transphobic and homophobic statements, claiming “radical gender ideology” is “sexualizing children.”

A video on Alexander’s social media from May 17 shows him being escorted away from the protest police custody.

Hate-motivated crimes are recognizable crimes, like assault, theft or vandalisms, where the offender’s actions were demonstrably motivated by hate, bias or prejudice towards the victim’s personal characteristics, characteristics like race, ethnicity, country of origin, sexuality, gender, gender expression or religion.

–with files from Paula Tran, Global News

Click to play video: 'Prevention is key to addressing increasing hate crime trend in Alberta: OPV study'
Prevention is key to addressing increasing hate crime trend in Alberta: OPV study

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