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One man charged after peaceful Peterborough protest becomes violent

By Cody Starr [4]

PETERBOROUGH – Two opposing protests filled Confederation Park, in Peterborough, Saturday afternoon, ending with one man facing charges after violence broke out during an otherwise peaceful event.

At around 2:45 p.m. members of the crowd began to disguise their identity by covering their faces and heads, police said in a press release Monday.

According to the police press release, a man and a woman, who had her body covered head to toe, began to shout at one another. During the argument, an officer was assaulted, leading to the arrest of the woman, police said. She was released. No charges were laid at the time, but an investigation continues, police said.

In a separate incident, a man on the south side of Confederation Park was arrested when a fight broke out.  The victim received a significant injury to his mouth requiring medical attention, police said.

As a result of further investigation, 22-year-old Owen Lucas was charged with assault and released from police custody on a promise to appear in court on Oct. 19, 2017, police said.

The incidents were part of two opposing protests in the park. An anti-immigration rally was organized by Canadian Nationalist Front, a white nationalist group based in the Greater Toronto Area, was scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.

However, a second protest occurred against the Canadian Nationalist Front.

Jeremy Bertrand, a Peterborough resident and graffiti artist, who opposed the anti-immigration rally, said he wanted to send a clear message, using a homemade sign he made himself which read: Racism, sexism, and homophobia not permitted.

“At its peak, I think we had about 300 people here just celebrating love and acceptance and what Peterborough is about, what Canada is about,” he said.

This rally was very personal for him.

“I live downtown in this neighbourhood. This is my block, my hood, and this kind of crap can’t be happening in 2017,” he said.