Justin Trudeau took a knee in solidarity with anti-racism demonstrators on Friday, but remained silent at the event as his government faces questions over how it plans to address police violence.
Wearing a black mask and surrounded by bodyguards, the Canadian prime minister made a surprise appearance at the No justice = No peace rally in Ottawa.
After he knelt with protesters, a number of attendees thanked him for the gesture. But, for others, Trudeau’s actions rang hollow.
“I’m not interested in bullshit publicity stunts, especially now,” said Andray Domise, a Toronto-based writer. “How the hell can you kneel against police brutality? When everything in your record indicates you have no problem with it. It boggles the mind to watch him turn to the camera – almost like he was confirming that he was being filmed – and kneeling.”