Canada's Justin Trudeau takes a knee at protest, is urged to 'stand up to Trump'

VIDEO: REUTERS
Trudeau wears a mask as he takes part in a rally against the death in US police custody of George Floyd.
Trudeau wears a mask as he takes part in a rally against the death in US police custody of George Floyd.PHOTO: REUTERS

OTTAWA (BLOOMBERG) - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined a protest to highlight racial injustice in Ottawa and was met by demonstrators urging him to "stand up" to President Donald Trump.

Trudeau wore a mask to the event, accompanied by Families Minister Ahmed Hussen and a security team.

He held a Black Lives Matter T-shirt and said "Amen" to anti-racism messages.

A group of people chanted "Stand up to Trump" at him.

Trudeau knelt on one knee in front of the speakers at the Canadian parliament, a gesture that is being used across the US in protests against anti-black racism and police brutality.

The protests began after a police officer in Minneapolis knelt on the neck of George Floyd for nearly nine minutes, killing him.

At a news conference this week, Trudeau was asked about Trump's decision to call for military troops to quell demonstrations in US cities.

He paused for 21 seconds before beginning an answer that did not mention Trump by name.

"We all watch in horror and consternation what's going on in the United States. It is a time to pull people together, but it is a time to listen," he said.

"It is a time to learn what injustices continue despite progress over years and decades."

Trudeau faced a backlash from some voters during last year's election when photos emerged of him in blackface during the early 2000s.

At the time he was a teacher at West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver.