Ottawa trucker protest forces vigilante shooters at Quebec City Mosque to relocate

A planned guard in Ottawa to mark the fifth anniversary of the shooting at the Quebec City Mosque, which left six men dead and five others wounded, has been moved online due to the large trucking convoy protest on Parliament Hill, organizers say.

The Canadians United Against Hate group had planned to hold an interfaith candle guard at the human rights monument on Elgin Street on Saturday night, but organizers now say they have moved the event online.

“The personal guard, organized by Canadians United Against Hate, was canceled with only 24 hours ‘notice of concern for the safety of participants and participants who may be subjected to violent demonstrations in connection with the truck drivers’ protest,” the group said in a media statement. . “A virtual event is being organized at very short notice to mark the anniversary, along with the first official national day of remembrance for the victims and the first national day of action against Islamophobia.”

The scheduled guard in Ottawa is now being held at Zoom. A link has been shared on the group’s Facebook page, organizers said.

On January 29, 2017, a lone gunman shot and killed six worshipers shortly after the closing of the evening prayer at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center in Ste. Foy, a suburb of the provincial capital. In March 2018, the gunman, Alexandre Bissonnette, pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder. His murder victim was Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; and Ibrahima Barry, 39.

A ceremony will also be held in Quebec City. Quebec Premier Francois Legault and Quebec City Mayor Bruno Marchand are expected to attend.

The truck driver protest, known as the “Freedom Convoy” is taking over Ottawa’s center to demonstrate against a number of issues, most notably COVID-19 public health mandates. Thousands of participants are expected in the city on Saturday, and some have said they plan to stay through the weekend and possibly into next week. Organizers have said they plan to demonstrate peacefully, though Ottawa police say they are prepared for the possibility of violence should it happen.

Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday morning, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.

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