A member of the federal Liberal government once again had their time in Vancouver interrupted by pro-Palestine protesters.
During a townhall on the opioid epidemic on Saturday night, Vancouver Granville MP Taleeb Noormohamed was confronted by a group of protestors calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Noormohamed was meeting with drug advocacy groups and community members when the protestors, both outside and inside the venue, interrupted the event.
The discussion on the drug crisis continued and, after the event, Noormohamed took time to speak with many of the protestors who were still in attendance.
Some of the interaction was caught on a Global News camera.
“If I were to call for a ceasefire, what do you think that would actually do?” Noormohamed asked a protester.
“That would put pressure on our government to also call for a ceasefire,” the protester responded.
Noormohamed spoke with Global News after the event.
“We have to make sure that Canadians, Muslims and Jews in this country, are not paying the price of safety and security for what is happening there,” Noormohamed said.
“My hope is by having conversations, by including people in the conversation even if they are difficult, we are creating a space for people to feel like they are being heard.”
Hundreds take part in Pro-Palestinian rally
Saturday’s confrontation comes just days after protesters confronted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a restaurant in Vancouver.
On Tuesday, Trudeau was dining at Vij’s Restaurant on Cambie Street when demonstrators surrounded the front of the establishment.
They were chanting for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Trudeau then visited another restaurant in the Chinatown area of Vancouver where about 250 protesters showed up, police said, with almost 100 officers deployed to the scene.
Vancouver police confirmed Wednesday that a 27-year-old man was arrested for punching a police officer and gouging her eyes Tuesday night near where Trudeau was dining. Jakub Jerzy Markiewicz is facing charges of assaulting a peace officer, assaulting a peace officer causing bodily harm and resisting or obstructing a peace officer. He has been released from custody.
Markiewicz, who identifies himself as a “photo-journalist, wedding photographer, and artist,” did not respond to an email or answer the intercom when Global News went to the Coquitlam housing coop listed as his current address.
At a Friday media event, Trudeau was asked about the incidents and whether he had concerns about the level of anger over the Gaza conflict.
“We find ourselves in a moment where the intensity of the emotions, of the fear, of the grief people are going through, is having Canadians forget a little bit about who we are,” Trudeau said.
“We are not a country where Canadians should be scared of other Canadians. We are one of those places in the world where diversity has been a source of richness, of depth, of strength for our country. And I think we all have to commit ourselves every day to listen to each other and have compassion for each other.”
Markiewicz was released on several conditions, including not attending any demonstrations or protests, not entering the City of Vancouver unless to attend a court appearance or with court permission, and not possessing any weapons.
He is due back in court on Dec. 6.
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— With files from Simon Little and Kristen Robinson
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