Ottawa police launch hate speech investigation after anti-Israel protest
Ottawa police launch hate speech investigation after anti-Israel protest

Ottawa police are investigating a hate speech allegation following a pro-Palestine protest in front of Parliament Hill on the weekend.

The Ottawa Police Service announced Monday that its Hate and Bias Crime Unit was spearheading a probe after video circulated of a rally speaker justifying Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

In a video posted to X by Dacey Media,  a crowd of protesters marching in front of the Canadian parliament building could be heard cheering after the speaker said, “Oct. 7 proves we’re almost free!”

The video, which had over 2.5 million views as of Monday afternoon, has been seen as glorifying the terror group’s attack that killed over 1,200  men, women and children.

Hamas also took more than 250 hostages, and according to Israel, almost 130 of those are still being held captive.

“When I say from the river to the sea, you reply with ‘Palestine is almost free,’” a man can be heard telling the crowd as they march past Parliament Hill. “Our resistance attacks are proof that we are almost free.”

He continued shouting through a megaphone to the crowd, some waving Palestinian flags, others showing their support for the Iranian regime. At least four Revolutionary Communist Party flags can be seen waving in the video with the Marxist hammer and sickle displayed.

“Oct. 7 is proof that we are almost free!” he said. “Long live Oct. 7! Long live the resistance! Long live the intifada! Long live every form of resistance!”

According to B’nai Brith, a Jewish rights group in Canada, calls for intifada are synonymous with violent attacks on Israeli Jews.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the pro-Hamas statements on X.

“There is a difference between peaceful protest and hateful intimidation,” Trudeau said. “It is unconscionable to glorify the antisemitic violence and murder perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th. This rhetoric has no place in Canada. None.”

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre denounced the crowd as well.

“I condemn these pro-genocide, anti-semitic chants.” he said on X. “We stand with Jews in Canada and around the world against these malicious words and deeds.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh responded to incident with a defence of the right to protest while being clear that incitements to violence are not okay.

“Canadians have a right to protest and show solidarity with those whose human rights are being violated. But let’s be clear: hate, antisemitism and inciting violence is never ok.” Singh wrote on X. “I unequivocally condemn those who chant things that are incendiary, hateful, and that glorify October 7th’s terror and death.”

The NDP leader said he’ll continue to stand with “millions of Canadians peacefully advocating for peace and justice.”

Liberal MP Marco Mendicino, who served as the minister of public safety until last summer, called out the speaker in the video, saying this crossed the line from free speech to promoting terrorism.

“Hamas are terrorists. They murder, rape and torture. They instigate martyrdom. They brazenly admit they will keep terrorizing until Israel and the Jewish people are no more.” Mendicino said. “Shouting “long live October 7” is not free speech. It’s promoting terrorism. And it must not be tolerated.”

Zionist advocacy group Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said this sort of rhetoric must be denounced by everyone.

“Open glorification of terrorism & the deadliest day for Jewish people since the Holocaust. In Ottawa,” the CIJA said on X. “It has NO place in Canada & must be condemned by all.”

This comes at the end of a week with incidents of anti-Israel blockades in Canada and major cities around the world and a surge of what Jewish rights organizers have called antisemitic hate speech following Iran’s attack on Israel.

Ottawa police ask anyone with information to contact the Hate and Bias Crime Unit at (613) 236-1222, ext. 5015.

error: Content is protected !!
en_USEnglish