Justin Trudeau kneels at the Black Lives Matter demonstration in Parliament Hill

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes a knee during in a Black Lives Matter protest on Parliament Hill June 5, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada.
Trudeau’s act of solidarity comes after he refused to comment earlier in the day on whether he would participate in the protest. However, he arrived in Parliament Hill – home of the Canadian Parliament – wearing a black cloth mask on Friday afternoon and surrounded by security guards, according to CTVnews, affiliated to CNN.

Trudeau did not speak at the event, although he applauded and nodded along with some of the other speakers, including a time when one speaker said there is no middle ground on racism. At another point, he shouted “Amen” along with other protesters after a speaker discussed the promotion of love and justice.

Some in the crowd shouted at him to oppose U.S. President Donald Trump, CTVnews reported.

Although many celebrities have been explicit about their support for protesters in the United States, the support of world leaders has been silenced, despite global protests under the slogan Black Lives Matter.

On Monday, the Canadian leader stopped for nearly 20 seconds when asked about the President, apparently visibly uncomfortable before stepping up on the question.
Friday’s protest was organized by No Peace Until Justice as part of a series of protests against police brutality and systemic racism worldwide after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

The crowd had a moment of silence for nearly nine minutes – the amount of time that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee pressed to Floyd’s neck. During this silence, many also knelt down.

Trudeau joined them.

The Ottawa police service told CTVnews in a statement that the march was peaceful. “We respect the rights of our residents and community members to speak when they see injustices and understand the community’s deep grief and frustration,” they said. “Our role is to provide a safe space for people to suffer and be heard.”

Ottawa Public Health he asked the participants wash their hands, clean their belongings and put their clothes in the wash, all to minimize the spread of coronavirus.


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