After occupying a downtown Ottawa intersection for two days, Black Lives Matter troublemakers were finally removed by police.
The group of several dozen ‘activists’ had occupied the intersection demanding the police be defunded, and “justice” for Abdirahman Abdi, a black man who died while attacking Ottawa police in 2016. Last month a court cleared the police, saying they did nothing wrong. Nevertheless, police officials caved in to the protesters’ demands and agreed to meet with them – with the stipulation they would immediately end their disruption. When the protesters refused to leave, the police moved in.
“We gave them plenty of warning. They knew we were coming, and they were prepared,” said a police spokesman. “When the police arrived a group of protesters swarmed several officers, and we arrested 12 individuals.” All 12 were later released after being charged with mischief, and one youth was let off with a warning, having been told not to do it again.
One of the protesters, Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, said “they didn’t do anything wrong. They were peaceful and just exercising their right to protest!” The group used the arrests to cancel their planned meeting with police.
Predictably, Ottawa City Council jumped all over the incident. Flags in front of City Hall were lowered to half-mast in support of the protesters. Despite the increasing severity of the Coronavirus in Ontario, NDP MPP Joel Harden encouraged people to come out to Police headquarters to protest the arrests.
Ottawa City Councillor Catherine McKenney, who lists her pronouns as ‘they/them’ in their Twitter biography also took issue with the police doing their job. “We need to start looking into options on defunding racist police forces, starting here in Ottawa.”
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole also criticized the police, but for giving in to the protesters. “[The police] should never have agreed to meet with these people. It just gives them an incentive to continue this type of behaviour. When your child throws a temper tantrum, you don’t immediately give them everything they want. That just encourages them.”