RCMP in Alberta say they are investigating after an anti-racism rally in Red Deer turned violent on the weekend.
News footage from CityTV Edmonton shows counter-protesters shoving demonstrators who had gathered to denounce racism, but no RCMP officers are seen intervening.
Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu says he has urged the RCMP’s commanding officer in Alberta to get to the bottom of what happened.
“I am admittedly disturbed,” Madu said in a video statement Tuesday. “Violence and threats of violence at peaceful protests are unacceptable. Period.
“All Albertans, regardless or race, religion or creed have the right to live their lives peacefully, and I denounce any instance of bigotry and intolerance.”
Madu says the Mounties have told him they weren’t there for the initial confrontation because protest organizers changed the location of the rally at the last minute.
Kisha Daniels, a co-founder of Black and Indigenous Alliance AB says the RCMP was well-aware of the location change, which was made in response to threats from white supremacist groups.
Daniels says she had been planning to speak at the rally about education and anti-blackness, but the event was interrupted by Yellow Vesters, Soldiers of Odin and other groups honking their horns, blaring sirens and yelling.
She calls what happened traumatizing and says so far the RCMP has not reached out, even though she has footage and other information to contribute to any investigation.
RCMP said in a news release Monday that there was a disturbance as the anti-racism groups were setting up the rally on Sunday.