Photographers attacked at pro-Trump rally in downtown Vancouver
VANCOUVER -- Several photographers were attacked in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday while documenting a small rally in support of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Among them was award-winning CBC News journalist Ben Nelms, who said a man charged at him without provocation and punched him in the face.
"He was upset that I, along with other members of the media were taking pictures and reporting the event. Physical violence against members of the media is wrong and doesn't just happen outside of Canada, but here in Vancouver," Nelms said in a statement.
Nelms was shaken up but not seriously injured.
Video captured at the scene shows two other men being shoved by a man with a ponytail. In another altercation, a woman who had earlier identified herself to CTV News as “Melania Slovana” allegedly struck a photographer over the head with a modified American flag while yelling at him.
“You are not allowed to take a picture of me, you have to ask us to take a picture,” she said.
In Canada, people are legally allowed to take pictures and video in public places without permission.
The incidents happened outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, where about two dozen people gathered to show their support for Trump and his efforts to overturn the results of the country's fair and democratic election.
Most of the people in attendance, who were carrying Trump flags and signs, were peaceful.
Protester Corrina Conlan told CTV News she has been "praying for all the hidden votes that have been stolen to be exposed."
"I love Trump. He stands for Christians," said Conlan, who was wearing a red Trump 2020 toque. "This country was built and fought for by Christians. We believe in freedom."
Conlan indicated she was not aware of the latest developments in Washington, where armed rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, but expressed some support for their cause.
"If it has to come down to that," she said. "I know in Ukraine they took the politicians and roughed them up a bit. I'm willing to die for my country."
Participants also marched to the U.S. consulate, with one woman describing their gathering as a "pride parade" for Trump.
In Toronto, another small pro-Trump crowd met outside the U.S. consulate to demand a formal investigation into the American electoral process.
The riots in Washington caused chaos on Wednesday, interrupting the process of certifying Joe Biden's election win and forcing lawmakers to evacuate. One woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol.
Members of the violent mob had been egged on by the outgoing U.S. president for weeks. Beyond his ongoing barrage of attacks on the country's election results, Trump had urged supporters to descend on the city.
With files from The Associated Press