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Justin Trudeau takes a knee but is silent on reforms to policing


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Justin Trudeau takes a knee but is silent on reforms to policing

Justin Trudeau took a knee in solidarity with anti-racism demonstrators on Friday, but remained silent at the event as his government faces questions over how it plans to address police violence.

Wearing a black mask and surrounded by bodyguards, the Canadian prime minister made a surprise appearance at the No justice = No peace rally in Ottawa.

After he knelt with protesters, a number of attendees thanked him for the gesture. But, for others, Trudeau’s actions rang hollow.

“I’m not interested in **** publicity stunts, especially now,” said Andray Domise, a Toronto-based writer. “How the hell can you kneel against police brutality? When everything in your record indicates you have no problem with it. It boggles the mind to watch him turn to the camera – almost like he was confirming that he was being filmed – and kneeling.”

The prime minister has previously received criticism for attending demonstrations. In September he joined a climate rally in Montreal, even though his government has been widely criticised by activists for bailing out a contentious pipeline expansion project.

    Trudeau takes a knee at BLM rally in Ottawa. Nice gesture but isn't this a cop/protestor thing? Or is it a solidarity thing? Or is it a virtue-signaling thing? Because it's him, I don't know. pic.twitter.com/3c6y6PpKGr
    June 5, 2020

Earlier in the day, Trudeau acknowledged the country had problems within its policing systems, following a number of violent incidents – including the killing of Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old Indigenous woman shot dead by police early on Thursday morning.

“Far too many Canadians feel fear and anxiety at the sight of law enforcement officers,” Trudeau told reporters. “Over the past weeks, we’ve seen a large number of Canadians suddenly awaken to the fact that the discrimination that is a lived reality for far too many of our fellow citizens is something that needs to end.”

Reporters asked Trudeau to name specific policy changes his government would implement, and if he believed police officers in Canada were racist, but he declined to answer either question directly.

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Justin Trudeau was caught wearing blackface many times, and now he goes out protesting racism?

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I can understand your confusion over a national leader who takes a knee with protesters over racial discrimination by police, MM. You are more comfortable with a leader who turns tear gas on them and threatens them with military action. You are also used to a national leader who refuses to wear a mask in public at the time of a pandemic.

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One thing we enjoy as Canadians is sense of unity especially in a time of crisis.  Conservative Ontario Premier Doug Ford who some in the States wished to be a Northern version of Donald Trump has said he works well with Liberal Trudeau and counts our unity as something that differentiates us from "present" Americans.

I don't know if right wing Americans who work at sewing discord and division  can ever understand that now.

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