REGINA – Proceedings of the Saskatchewan Legislature were disrupted Monday afternoon after pro-Palestine supporters started shouting “ceasefire now” during Question Period.
The protesters had filled the gallery for the proceedings in the Leg. The disruption happened around 2:18 p.m. shortly after Question Period began
After the group in the gallery started their chant, Speaker Randy Weekes repeatedly started calling for order. When those calls went unheeded from the gallery, Speaker Weekes finally called for everyone to leave the chamber.
Assembly proceedings then came to a halt, and the group of protesters slowly exited the gallery down the stairs and through the rotunda, while continuing to chant “ceasefire now” in the halls as they departed.
There was a heavy police presence inside the Legislature as the group started heading for the exits. Minister of Corrections and Policing Paul Merriman was observed on the upper level on the phone, describing what was transpiring down below.
The group then ended up congregating around the main entrance inside the Legislature, where a chaotic scene unfolded as they surrounded the security table and continued with more chants including “Free Palestine”.
Slowly, and with encouragement of security, the group made their way outside the building. The group then congregated onto the Legislature steps where they continued to chant and wave Palestine flags. One woman planted a Palestine flag onto the side of the entrance of the building.
Security and police at the Legislature continued to keep a close eye on the situation as the remaining supporters made their way out. At no point did it appear that security did not maintain control over the situation.
While the Legislature has seen plenty of protests outside the building, those inside who witnessed the scene said they didn’t recall ever seeing a scene like this unfold within the Legislature building itself.
After what was a long recess, proceedings resumed at around 3 p.m. inside the Assembly.