Toronto lawyer says she’s ‘shaken’ after arrest outside Doug Ford rally near Hamilton airport

Hamilton police arrested and fined a Toronto-based lawyer for trespassing near a Progressive Conservative campaign stop Thursday night, but Caryma Sa’d says she was targeted for criticizing party leader Doug Ford.

Police say Ford was at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport for a campaign stop around 5:30 p.m. when protesters showed up.

Sa’d said she had been asked to leave Ford events in the past and this time she responded positively to attend the event. She is known for creating cartoons and videos that criticize politicians and people protesting public health measures.

Sa’d said she was not there as a protester but as a political commentator. She said someone from Ford’s team asked her to leave and called the police when she refused.

A video posted to Twitter by Sa’d appears to show the conversation outside Cargojet’s facilities prior to his arrest.

“It’s pretty obvious your intentions come here, it’s all over Twitter…You’re not invited to this event, you’re not welcome…we know you’re not here to good intentions,” one person speaking to Sa’d said in the video. The person appears to be wearing an in-ear headset, but their affiliation is unclear.

“I’ll wait for the police,” Sa’d said in the video.

The Progressive Conservative Party did not respond to questions from CBC Hamilton about the incident, deferring to police.

Police said the protesters were on private property and officers asked them to move when they blocked the road leading to the Cargojet facility.

Woman received multiple warnings before arrest: police

Another video posted by Sa’d on Instagram appears to show the moments immediately leading up to his arrest. Hamilton police spokesman Jackie Penman said the arrest took place around 6:30 p.m.

“So it’s your choice,” a Hamilton police officer says in the video.

“No one has explained why…I’m not allowed to attend this event, I have an RSVP,” Sa’d says as someone tells her she’s in violation.

“OK, you’re under arrest,” the officer says before the video shows him approaching her.

Penman told CBC Hamilton that officers asked the 33-year-old to move ‘several times and told her that if she did not comply, she would be arrested for trespassing – not leaving the premises when ordered “.

Another video posed by Sa’d appears to show her in handcuffs.

“Can she leave? says someone behind the camera.

“No, she had her chance,” said the policeman.

Sa’d was taken off the property before being released and given a $65 ticket. Penman said the woman was taken to Airport Road before others joined her and demonstrated peacefully.

“As far as I know, there have been no other arrests during campaign stops this year,” Penman said.

“That should never happen in a free society”: Del Duca

Sa’d said she was not part of a protest but was there to document the event.

Hamilton 350, an environmental group organizing a protest outside the event, tweeted that its members were also in attendance. None of its members were arrested and he felt that Sa’d was being targeted.

Don Mclean, a member of the group, said he witnessed the arrest and corroborated Sa’d’s account. “We didn’t even have any signs then,” he said.

Mclean said she was not part of the protest and was arrested long before protesters took to the roads. He added that his group of protesters were told to move around even when they were on public property outside the facility.

Penman did not clarify questions about the wording of the press release, which indicates that the person arrested was part of the group blocking the roads.

Caryma Sa’d, a Toronto lawyer, says she shouldn’t have been denied entry to Ford’s rally in Hamilton because of her views. (Taylor Simmons/CBC)

Sa’d acknowledged that although the facility is privately owned, the rally was a public event. Given that she correctly registered for the event, she said she should have received a full explanation of why she could not attend.

Sa’d said she attended events for Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca this week and had no problems, despite her criticism.

Del Duca slammed Ford on Twitter for the incident.

“First Doug Ford hides from the media, now his staff has them arrested. This should never happen in a free society,” he wrote Thursday night.

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner also commented on the incident during a campaign stop in Hamilton on Friday.

“It is wrong and inappropriate to arrest a journalist, even if they are citizen journalists, during a political event,” he said. “We live in a province, in a country where first, people should be able to express themselves without fear of being arrested, and second, people who engage in journalistic activities should not be arrested for presenting themselves to a political event.

Sa’d said she was a bit “shaken” by the event and wasn’t sure if she would attend any more in the future.

“I do political commentary, so being blocked due to disagreement with my views that aren’t violent or reprehensible… I think that’s the biggest concern and it reeks of authoritarianism,” she said. declared.