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Toronto police investigating another violent incident recorded at anti-abortion rally – Toronto

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Toronto police say they are investigating another violent incident captured on video at an anti-abortion rally.

Protesters who recorded the video said the incident occurred on Oct. 1 beside Ryerson University.

The incident happened a day after Jordan Hunt allegedly kicked an anti-abortion protester on video at a different rally near Keele Street and Bloor Street West.


READ MORE:
Toronto man arrested, charged after allegedly kicking anti-abortion protester

That video went viral and prompted plenty of reaction on social media.

In the video near Ryerson University, protesters on both sides can be seen having a discussion about abortion before a person is seen approaching anti-abortion protester Blaise Alleyne and kicking a graphic and controversial anti-abortion sign he was holding.

The attacker can then be seen throwing a dolly and shoving Katie Somers, another anti-abortion protester. The attacker appears to reach into Somers’ backpack, pull out an object and smash it on the ground before continuing to shove her.

WATCH: Violence flares at several abortion protests in GTA. Sean O’Shea reports.






“We didn’t see her coming,” Somers said.

“She kicked our signs, shoved them down. They fell down my leg, injuring me … And then I tried to run away, while she picked up a metal dolly and threw it at me and then proceeded to shove me, wrestle me around by my backpack and try to get me to fight her.”

The anti-abortion group is free to protest by law on most of the pedestrian streets around Ryerson University’s downtown campus because the streets are public property, including where the video was filmed.


READ MORE:
Graphic anti-abortion posters spotted in Toronto: As a parent, what can you do?

Somers said they are pressing charges and also plan to launch a civil case.

Alleyne and Somers are a part of the Toronto Against Abortion group, which posted the video on their YouTube page.

The group alleges that the attacker is Gabriela Skwarko, a member of the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective and assistant at Ryerson’s Social Innovation Office.

Toronto Against Abortion alleges that Gabby Skwarko was the person who attacked their protesters during a rally near Ryerson.

YouTube / Toronto Against Abortion

Global News reached out to the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective, but they declined an on-camera interview.

“We have no comment,” said Olson Crow, the group’s co-founder.

“They have assaulted us multiple times and giving into their view point and the way they’ve swung this is problematic and bad.”

Crow did not provide any evidence that Toronto Against Abortion had assaulted members of their group before.


READ MORE:
How university campuses became the focal point of Canada’s abortion debate

According to Somers, members of Ryerson’s Reproductive Justice Collective have been cited by Ryerson in the past for code of conduct violations because of violence at anti-abortion rallies, including one from March of this year.

Somers showed Global News a brief video of that scuffle.

“We believe that the escalation of violence against peaceful pro-life protesters is becoming a problem and would like it to stop,” Somers said.

“We don’t want our society to turn into a place where people are afraid to share their opinion.”


READ MORE:
Man roundhouse-kicks anti-abortion advocate at Toronto protest

Christian Domenic Elia, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League, said incidents like this have made it difficult for people to openly express anti-abortion views in public.

“For quite some time it’s been difficult to find people who oppose abortion and who would like to prayerfully and peacefully protest against it,” he said.

“It’s been hard because of the violence that we have to endure.”

Global News contacted Ryerson University for a statement Tuesday morning, but officials did not provide comment on the incident.

– With files from Sean O’Shea

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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