As hundreds gathered for what appeared to be the largest Remembrance Day ceremony outside the B.C. legislature since before the pandemic, police had to react quickly as a loud protester attempted to interrupt the sombre event on Friday (Nov. 11).
The man, who was dressed in runners, sweatpants and wearing a black baseball cap – and noticeably not wearing a poppy pinned to his jacket – managed to make his way to the cenotaph area a few minutes before 11:11 a.m. – the time when hundreds of thousands pause each year to honour those who served in past wars.
The protester screamed to the crowd calling on those gathered to “shut down their government” and call for Canada to pull out of NATO.
He went on to criticise how the Canadian government and military have responded to various global conflicts, including the war in Ukraine, between Palestine and Israel and in Africa.
Two police officers grabbed the man and escort him away from the area, after which he began to fight them, leading to his arrest.
The Victoria Police Department said in a press release the man is facing recommended charges of assaulting a police officer and mischief.
Mayor Marianne Alto said while everyone has the right to protest, “I do think there are places where that protest is perhaps more appropriate. I don’t think today was that day.”
The incident is still under investigation and police ask that those with videos call 250-995-7654, ext. 1.