A man was arrested in the Canadian province of British Columbia after he narrowly missed hitting a pro-Palestinian demonstrator with his vehicle, according to news reports Monday.
In a video posted on social media Sunday, a man can be seen driving his car onto the sidewalk as the demonstrator, who held a Palestinian flag, scrambled to get out of the way.
Someone can be heard repeatedly shouting “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa” as the vehicle drove toward the protester. The driver had to stop because of barriers across the sidewalk area.
The man then exited the car and got into an argument with another protester before being separated by law enforcement.
“He just basically hit the gas and literally almost hit somebody,” Donald Smith, who filmed the video and posted it on social media, told CTV News. “If those barriers weren't there, that would have been a different ballgame.”
The man was later arrested by police and charged with assault with a weapon and dangerous driving.
The incident occurred as hundreds of people marched Sunday during the “United for Peace: March for Palestine” rally in downtown Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.
Dock Currie, a member of the Vancouver Island Peace Council, told CHEK News that the incident was an act of violence fomented because people mistakenly think that pro-Palestinian protesters are supporters of the Palestinian group Hamas.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims said Canadian leaders must do more to tackle Islamophobia.
“This is the kind of apparent violence we have seen increase across this country…Our leaders must step up to stem this tide of hate,” the council said in a statement issued Monday.