12 charged after protest of debate featuring ex-Trump aide Steve Bannon

The accused have not been publicly identified but police say the charges include trespassing, disorderly conduct and assault of a police officer

Toronto police say they have laid charges against 12 people arrested Friday night during a rally to protest a controversial debate featuring former White House strategist Steve Bannon.

The accused have not been publicly identified but police say the charges include trespassing, disorderly conduct and assault of a police officer.

They say two officers were injured during the protest, which delayed the start of the debate at Roy Thomson Hall by roughly half an hour.

It’s alleged one officer was punched and another was hit with a stick. Videos posted on social media showed officers using batons to hold back the crowd outside the auditorium, and one photo showed an officer using pepper spray.

The event, part of the Munk Debates, saw Bannon and conservative commentator David Frum debate the role of populism in politics.

Critics had called on organizers to cancel the event, accusing Bannon of being a white supremacist and arguing he should not be given a platform to share his views.

Bannon denied the accusations and organizers stressed what they called the importance of allowing vigorous discussion of hot topics.

The Canadian Press

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