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Pro-Palestinian protesters defy police advice, change demonstration location

Pro-Palestinian Protestors lined up along 17 Avenue S.W. in Calgary on Sunday. (Tyson Fedor/CTV News Calgary) Pro-Palestinian Protestors lined up along 17 Avenue S.W. in Calgary on Sunday. (Tyson Fedor/CTV News Calgary)
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It’s been nine weeks of duelling protests in Calgary between Palestinian supporters and Israel supporters outside city hall and Olympic Plaza.

On Sunday, the pro-Palestinian group moved its protest to Tomkins Park along a busy 17th Avenue S.W.

“We’re out here, we’re more visible than we were in the previous weeks,” said Justice for Palestine organizer Wesam Cooley.

“Demanding the same thing we’ve been doing the whole time, the end to the genocide in Gaza.”

Cooley says the group planned and worked with police for days leading up to the event to ensure it was safe despite heavy vehicle traffic in the area.

“We from our end have a good communicative relationship with type, we expect them to abide by the law,” he said.

Police chief Mark Neufeld typed a letter, before posting to social media, saying some members of the group are becoming defiant.

“Over the past several weeks, we have experienced a decrease in cooperation from some of the participants at pro-Palestinian rallies,” said Neufeld.

“We do not endorse this location and we will police the event as necessary by enforcing the criminal code and statutes bylaws to protect the community and ensure public safety.”

Police were on horseback and bicycles while some officers recorded the event from business rooftops.

Hundreds were in attendance as the group left the park and marched its way down 17th Avenue before turning back for the park.

The group plans to protest there again next weekend.

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