Protestors clash over Motion 103 in Churchill Square
Two groups with opposing views on issues surrounding minority rights and diversity part of nationwide movement
Demonstrators opposing Motion 103 to condemn Islamophobia clashed with counter-demonstrators in Edmonton on Saturday afternoon, resulting in one person being taken away in handcuffs.
Counter-demonstrators said their "block party," which drew more than 100 people, disbanded to protect those who came out as tensions rose.
"When we kind of see those different escalations ... we see that this isn't a safe space for our community," said Quetzala Carson.
Carson said the decision to break things up came after one the demonstrators supporting the Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens' opposition to Motion 103 ripped down one of the group's banners promoting immigration and LGBTQ rights.
Another demonstrator from that side passed the banner back, but Carson said counter-demonstrators decided to pack up.
Police said the person handcuffed and removed from the crowd was not charged though he was given a bylaw ticket.
As the counter-demonstrators were leaving, demonstrators chanted: "Hey hey, ho ho, Justin Trudeau's got to go."
Remaining counter-demonstrators responded: "Love is good, all the time."
Dion Park, with the Canadian Sentinel, said many of the demonstrators who came out against Motion 103 shared values with the Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens, but that many were there because of broader concerns regarding federal policy-making.
"We've got a lot of issues. Our Liberal government, they do not have our best interest," he said.
Park said he sees the demonstration and counter-demonstration as dialogue.
"Sounds like conversation to me," he said. "Just bring the ideas forward, maybe make a little bit of awareness."
Motion 103 calls on the government to condemn Islamophobia and was introduced by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid last fall.
The motion is not a bill and will not become law if the parliament supports it.