Trudeau Says Canada Is Not Intimidated By Protesters Who Held 'Racist Flags' & 'Stole Food'

"There is no place in our country for threats, violence or hatred."

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Trudeau Says Canada Is Not Intimidated By Protesters Who Held 'Racist Flags' & 'Stole Food'

After a weekend of unrest in Ottawa, Justin Trudeau is slamming those who took things too far during the Freedom Convoy protest.

The prime minister shared his thoughts about the racist flags seen about the city, the way the Terry Fox statue was temporarily altered and the images of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier being desecrated in a press conference on Monday, January 31.

"I know you're wondering about what you saw in our capital city this weekend," Trudeau told reporters, from an undisclosed location in the National Capital Region.

"As my friend Irwin Cotler said on Saturday, 'Freedom of expression, assembly, and association are cornerstones of democracy; but Nazi symbolism, racist imagery, and desecration of war memorials are not. It is an insult to memory and truth,'" he continued.

The PM went on to say that most Canadians were "shocked and frankly disgusted by the behaviour" seen in Ottawa over the weekend and said hate can never be the answer.

"I want to be very clear," he said. "We are not intimidated by those who hurl insults and abuse at small business workers and steal food from the homeless. We won't give in to those who fly racist flags. We won't cave to those who engage in vandalism or dishonour the memory of our veterans."

The PM then thanked Canadians who have made donations to the Terry Fox Foundation and the Ottawa food bank Shepherds of Good Hope.

"There is no place in our country for threats, violence or hatred, so to those responsible for this behaviour, it needs to stop," he said.

"To anyone who joined the convoy but is rightly uncomfortable with the symbols of hatred and division on display, join with your fellow Canadians," Trudeau encouraged. "Be courageous and speak out. Do not stand for or with intolerance and hate."

On January 30, Ottawa police confirmed that there are several criminal investigations underway in relation to the "desecration of the National War Memorial/Terry Fox statue", as well as "threatening/illegal/intimidating behaviour to police/city workers and other individuals and damage to a city vehicle."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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