Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Source: Peter Smith
A crowd of protesters and counter-protesters gathered outside of an Ottawa school on Friday.
Since the morning, the streets leading up to Broadview Public School have been filling with people waving Pride flags and banners of support for 2SLGBTQ+ people and students. The crowd of around 200 bodies is counter-protesting an event featuring Chris “Billboard Chris” Elston and Save Canada’s teenage leader Josh Alexander.
The event, "Education Over Indoctrination," has been planned for over a month and scheduled for 11 am on Friday. The protest against the school is against what Elston and Alexander have dubbed “gender ideology” and 2SLGBTQ+ inclusive policies in classrooms. Approximately 100 people showed up to support Elston and Alexander.
Conversations between Alexander and police streamed live over Facebook show police saying they do not intend to clear the street of the counter-protesters, however, Elston posted video of him approaching the protest from the other direction to avoid crowds. While police have attempted to maintain a line between the two, some shoving matches have broken out among the crowd.
Police have been shown arresting or removing several individuals, it is not known if charges will be laid as a result. We have reached out to the Ottawa Police Service for comment.
A post to the OPS' official Twitter account says five people have been arrested.
Footage of the protesters at one point showed Pride flags being stomped on by children. Adults cheered them on during the act.
The counter-protests were organized by parents, community members, and Community Solidarity Ottawa. Elston was previously met by a crowd of students in Ottawa when he tried to protest at the same school in 2021.
Elston first rose to prominence after he assisted in financing a billboard reading “I (heart) JK Rowling” and has appeared at political events and outside of schools wearing sandwich boards objecting to the pervasiveness of “gender ideology.” He now appears at protests across North America and on media like Tucker Carlson Tonight. During the most recent protest in Ottawa, Elson was seen with former Member of Parliament Derek Sloan.
Sloan, who started his own party after being ejected from the Conservative Party of Canada, has previously taken a stance against policies that would allow transgender people to use the bathrooms that would align with their gender identity.
Alexander is a newer face among the far-right. Representing the group Save Canada, he has drawn attention for organizing a number of protests outside of schools and libraries -- typically protesting against family-oriented drag events or inclusive school policies relating to gender.
Many of Save Canada’s protests have been met by large counter-protests and community support for the 2SLGBTQ+ people.
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.