Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended an anti-racism protest on Friday and took a knee in solidarity with demonstrators.
Trudeau arrived on Parliament Hill in Ottawa with security guards, wearing a black cloth mask. A few protesters asked him to kneel, and he did. They thanked him afterwards and he nodded as demonstrations chanted “Black lives matter”.
Earlier this week, Trudeau said Canadians are watching what is unfolding in the United States with “horror and consternation”. He then paused for 21 seconds when asked about US President Donald Trump and the use of tear gas against protesters to clear the way for a photo opportunity.
The Ottawa protest was one of multiple events in Canada on Friday following days of demonstrations against racism and police brutality in numerous American cities.
The protests began after George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, died after a white officer pinned him to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes as other officers watched.Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and other uniformed officers met with a group of protesters, then removed his hat, and took a knee near police headquarters.
“We see you and we are listening,” Saunders, who is black, tweeted after the meeting. “We have to all stay in this together to make change.”