Toronto police
Toronto policeiStock

Up to six people were taken into custody following a pro-Palestinian Arab rally and march in downtown Toronto on Saturday, CityNews reported.

Toronto police said the driver of a truck towing a trailer was taken into custody for contravening the Highway Traffic Act (HTA).

“For safety reasons, officers have been cautioning demonstration organizers (and drivers specifically) for over a month about not having people in the bed of the truck or attached trailer while it is in motion,” police spokesperson Cst. Laurie McCann said.

“We made it clear that this stipulation would be in effect at all demonstrations. Today, demonstrators ignored that direction and the driver of the truck was arrested and charged accordingly under the HTA.”

Police added that five other demonstrators were taken into custody in the area of Parliament and Gerrard Streets for “various Criminal Code offenses” but did not specify what charges they are facing at this time.

Saturday’s demonstration was held in honor of “Land Day,”, which commemorates the initial government takeovers of land in the Negev and Galilee which were first announced in 1976. During ensuing riots and clashes with Israeli security forces, a number of Arabs were killed.

Organizers of Saturday’s rally once on Canada to demand a permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, an arms embargo and sanctions against Israel.

Toronto and the area have seen an increase in anti-Israel riots and acts of antisemitism since the start of Israel’s war against Hamas on October 7.

In early November, an Indigo book store in downtown Toronto was vandalized with red paint and posters plastered on its front windows wrongfully accusing its Jewish founder and CEO, Heather Reisman, of “Funding Genocide.”

In January, a Jewish-owned grocery store in Toronto was spray-painted with the words “Free Palestine” and later set on fire.

Days later, Toronto police arrested four people on a highway overpass, located near a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, that has become the site of recurring pro-Palestinian Arab protests.

In February, an anti-Israel protest at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto turned into a display of antisemitism. At least one protester was documented scaling the hospital with a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flag.