TORONTO: In a show of solidarity with 'Black Lives Matter' protestors, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended an anti-racism protest on Friday and took a public knee. Wearing a black cloth mask, he arrived on Parliament Hill in Ottawa with security guards.
After a few protestors asked him to kneel down, he followed and the demonstrators thanked him for the gesture.
He nodded as demonstrations chanted “Black lives matter.”
Trudeau said earlier this week that Canadians are watching what is unfolding in the United States with “horror and consternation” and he paused for 21 seconds when asked about US President Donald Trump and the use of tear gas against protesters to clear the way for a photo opportunity.
The Ottawa protest was one of multiple events in Canada on Friday, following days of demonstrations against racism and police brutality in numerous American cities.
The protests began after 46-year-old George Floyd, an African-American in Minneapolis, died after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, jammed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes as other officers watched. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and other uniformed officers met with a group of protesters, then removed his hat, and took a knee near police headquarters. “We see you and we are listening,” Saunders, who is black, tweeted after the meeting.
“We have to all stay in this together to make change.”