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A protestor chants into a megaphone outside the Halifax Regional Police station on April 15, 2024. (Jacob Moore/Acadia Broadcasting)

21 arrested during pro-Palestine roadblock protest in Halifax

By Jacob Moore Apr 15, 2024 | 6:07 PM

Halifax Regional Police arrested 21 people during a pro-Palestine protest on Monday.

Some protesters sat in the road near the corner of Hollis Street and Terminal Road in downtown Halifax at about 8 a.m. Dozens of other protesters stood nearby in support, some with Palestine flags and banners.

A protester, who goes by the name Ty, spoke to the Acadia Broadcasting newsroom.

They said they were glad so many people came to show their support.

“My partner and I were talking about how it really just hits us right in the heart,” says Ty.

Other groups across the globe, some also under the A15 name, joined in what the social media page calls a “coordinated economic blockade to free Palestine.”

Ty is one of the organizers for the A15 Halifax Instagram page. They say protesters blocked the road to the port to create an “economic disruption” to call on the Canadian government to stop supporting Israel amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Christina Tellez, one of the protesters, says the government hasn’t done enough after the rallies and marches.

“None of these have had the effect that we need, and for there to be a ceasefire,” says Tellez.

Police say they spoke with demonstrators and asked them to leave the road, but when they did not, police arrested 21 people, according to a social media post from Halifax Regional Police.

Police say the arrested protesters will each face one count of obstructing a police officer, which falls under the criminal code. Some of the protesters will face other charges under the motor vehicle act for “failing to obey the direction of a peace officer” and not using a sidewalk, the post says.

The original plan was to block the road as long as possible, Ty says, but once people were arrested, the protesters moved outside of the Halifax Regional Police headquarters on Gottingen Street.

“We wanted to make sure that we didn’t leave anyone behind today,” they say.

“We moved the rally to the front of the police station so that everybody inside knew that they were not alone.”

All 21 people were released from custody, according to a post on the A15 Halifax Instagram page at about 4 p.m.

Palestinian Spencer Allen says he was protesting for the economic blockade but also for all the people killed by the Israeli military in Gaza.

But he’s glad people came to the rally to show their support for Palestine.

“I’m very happy that people came out. I really wish it was a larger turnout, but you see here we have a lot of very dedicated people,” he says.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said some of Allen’s family members died in Palestine. He later clarified that they died elsewhere.