At the Nov 5 public hearing, a pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church shared their experience of the occupation.
“January 29 2022 marked the fifth anniversary of that horrible day when a white supremacist gunman walked into a mosque in Quebec City in 2017 and gunned down six Muslim men who were worshiping. Canadians United Against Hate along with members of Ottawa’s faith communities planned to hold an interfaith vigil the evening of the 29th at the Human Rights Monument beside City Hall. As we approached the first weekend of the occupation, I was in regular contact with councillor Catherine McKinney and a liaison officer from the Ottawa Police discussing issues of location, logistics, and participant safety.
There were frequent communications to discuss social media chatter from protesters who were threatening violence when they arrived in Ottawa given that some of the lead organizers of the protest were known promoters of racism, islamophobia and anti-semitism. By Friday January 28th, I was advised by the Ottawa police liaison to cancel the event given the increasing likelihood of violence by protesters and concerns for the safety of attendees. Following discussions with councillor McKenney and other participants, the January 29th event was canceled on Friday afternoon, which was deeply disappointing for members of Ottawa’s Muslim Community and others who plan to attend.”
You can view the full testimony here.