Hamilton police say they are investigating whether charges will be laid after a senior was physically blocked by protesters from entering a political event on Sunday where People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier was speaking.
About 100 demonstrators wearing bandannas or balaclavas to cover their faces entered Mohawk College McIntyre Performing Arts Centre ahead of the political event that evening. The demonstrators chanted “Nazi scum, off our streets” and held signs that read “white supremacy is terrorism.”
According to a news release issued Monday, police were made aware of an incident that was occurring “out of view from officers.” An elderly woman with a walker was being prevented by some of the demonstrators from entering the event.
“Once police became aware, officers intervened and escorted the woman and her companion into the venue,” investigators said. “Hamilton police are in the process of collecting video evidence and further charges may be pending. Investigators will be reviewing video and speaking to witnesses to determine if reasonable grounds exist to charge individuals with criminal code offences.”
Police also said that four people had been arrested for breaching the piece after a fight broke out near the entrance of one of the halls. All four people were later released and no injuries were reported.
HPS is aware of an incident involving a senior with a walker who was obstructed from entering the Maxime Bernier speaking event in #HamOnt. The first few moments took place away from officers. Officers intervened and escorted the woman and her companion into the venue. 1/2— Hamilton Police (@HamiltonPolice) September 30, 2019
Bernier was attending a roundtable discussion on free speech along with American commentator David Rubin. He has previously promised to reduce the number of immigrants allowed to enter Canada and has denounced “extreme multiculturalism.”
Anyone with information about the incident are being urged to contact police at 905-546-8966 or to reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.
With files from the Canadian Press