RCMP investigating violence at anti-racism rally in Red Deer

Sep 23 2020, 9:56 am

Alberta RCMP are investigating a violent incident in Red Deer that took place this weekend.

What was supposed to be a peaceful anti-racism protest turned ugly as counter-protesters arrived at Rotary Recreation Park on Sunday.

A video of the situation was posted to Twitter, showing an anti-racism protester being punched in the head by a counter-protester.

The video was posted by Taylor McNallie, who wrote that “‘Patriots’ came in truck loads to attack people who came to attend an organized event on anti-racism. Here’s my bf getting punched in the head after serving Pat King a restraining order. Police did nothing.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney spoke to the violence on Tuesday, tweeting that the RCMP has opened an investigation, and that “all Albertans, regardless of race, religion, or creed, have the right to peaceful protest and we denounce any instance of racism, bigotry, or intolerance.”

He also shared a statement from Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu, in which Madu states that he is disturbed by clips from the protest.

“Disagreeing does not entitle one to use violence. We can and should disagree with public policy, and discuss issues without resorting to violence.”

NDP Leader Rachel Notley called the situation “an abhorrent example of the racist violence that is experienced by racialized people,” in a tweet on Tuesday, accompanied by a video in which she states that “there are pockets of racism like what we saw that persist around the province and the only way to make it stop is to confront it, to call it out, to condemn violence and racism and hate crimes unequivocally.”

Notley commented on Kenney’s tweet, noting that, while many things can be disagreed upon in a civil society, racism is not one of them and should always be condemned.

A Tuesday release from Red Deer RCMP states that they were aware of one man allegedly assaulting another during the protest.

An investigation was opened on Monday after a second incident was reported to Alberta RCMP on social media, the Red Deer RCMP release states.

“The Red Deer RCMP take this matter very seriously,” said Officer in Charge of Red Deer RCMP, Superintendent Gerald Grobmeier, in the release.

“The role of the RCMP at demonstrations is to keep the peace and allow individuals their democratic right to gather. The matter remains under investigation.”

Any witnesses to assaults during the violence are asked to contact RCMP at 403-406-2300 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-888-222-8477 or on their website.

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