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Protesters block access to Colt Canada building in Kitchener

Protests block access to Colt Canada Corporation building in Kitchener on Feb. 28, 2024. (Chris Thomson / CTV News) Protests block access to Colt Canada Corporation building in Kitchener on Feb. 28, 2024. (Chris Thomson / CTV News)
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Employees at a firearms manufacturer in Kitchener were greeted by protesters as they tried to get to work Wednesday morning.

A group of people blocked access to the Colt Canada Corporation building on Wilson Avenue.

Participants said the demonstration was part of a countrywide effort to demand the Canadian government implement an immediate arms embargo on Israel amid the ongoing violence in Gaza.

“We’ve been blockading access to this Colt facility since the sun came up,” protester Sasha Koegler told CTV News.

“There have been Colt employees that have basically acknowledged that they do work here but they also support what we’re doing and they recognize that this is necessary.”

Koegler said they were still letting people access a nearby Rogers TV building and some homes beyond the blockade.

“I think it’s been a very positive event. A lot of support from folks who have come by – folks generally recognizing that this has to happen,” Koegler explained.

Earlier this month, the federal government announced it was considering sanctioning Israeli settlers in the West Bank who are accused of attacking Palestinians.

The Nicaraguan government has also announced plans to try to have the International Court of Justice rule on countries providing military goods to Israel as being complicit in any crimes Israel may be committing.

However, that decision won’t be made until after the court rules on a case brought forward by South Africa, accusing Israel of committing a genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

In 2022, Israel was one of the top 20 destinations for Canadian military goods exports.

Global Affairs Canada said the federal government hasn’t allowed sent weapons to Israel in decades, but allows military technology and ‘non-lethal’ equipment exports.

Earlier this month, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly announced sanctions against 10 people affiliated with Hamas and the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.

"Let me be clear. Hamas is a terrorist organization and they will be held accountable for their terrorist attacks,” Joly said at the time.

CTV News Kitchener has reached out to Colt Canada for comment.

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