POLITICS

Protesters Seeking To Talk About Gaza Escorted Out Of Tory MP's Office

07/25/2014 03:17 EDT | Updated 07/25/2014 03:59 EDT
CP/Chris Stroud

OTTAWA — Five people occupying Tory MP Susan Truppe's constituency office in London, Ont., hoping to speak with her about the Conservative government's position on the Gaza conflict, were escorted out of the building by police Friday.

Protester David Heap told The Huffington Post Canada the police did not lay charges. Heap, a London resident, said he was concerned about the impact of bombings on women and children in Gaza and Canada's response.

"We'd like to hear from [Truppe] about whether she has a problem with international law," he said, over the phone from a meeting room in her office minutes before police arrived. Truppe is the parliamentary secretary for the status of women.

"The attacks that we've been seeing [from the Israeli military], with now 800 people killed, most of them civilians, many women and children, violate international law," he said, pointing to principles of proportionality, non-discrimination, and precaution.

"None of the statements from the government that Ms. Truppe belongs to have reflected any concerns or even awareness of these principles," Heard said.

Wendy Goldsmith told HuffPost the group would not leave until Truppe showed up, or they spoke with someone else who was prepared to issue such a statement. Nobody, other than Truppe's staff, spoke with them.

Goldsmith said it was very clear where the prime minister "sits" on the issue, referencing Stephen Harper's comments about Canada's friendship with Israel.

"But while he sits comfortably in Ottawa, the death toll, and again in particular with women and children, is rising," she said.

Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird have insisted since the conflict began two weeks ago that Hamas is to blame for the civilian casualties and that Israel has a right to defend itself against a terrorist entity.

Goldsmith said Truppe's staff told them the MP was in transit and wouldn't be able to speak with them today.

Calls to the MP's office were transferred to Ottawa, where staffers described the situation in London as a "crisis" but one that was "not dangerous."

Goldsmith said she has worked with children in London who have experienced trauma and knows it can affect their ability to lead normal lives in the future.

"What is happening now is that an entire people is being traumatized. As a mother, my heart bleeds."

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