Proving once again that politics are a bit different in Canada, Ute Schmid-Jones, a Canadian Green Party member, was tackled by security guards and later banned from Hamilton City Hall after throwing pumpkin seeds inscribed with blue hearts (hand-drawn in pen) at Prime Minister Trudeau as a protest against an oil pipeline replacement.
According to the Hamilton Spectator, Prime Minister Trudeau spent the day touring Hamilton and the Niagara Region, meeting with the mayor of Hamilton, Mohawk College students, and allegedly stopping repeatedly in City Hall to take selfies with local councilors.
CBC News reports that Schmid-Jones, who ran for the Green Party in the 2015 federal election, forced her way past reporters while screaming "Keep your promises!" and flung handfuls of pumpkin and sunflower seeds at the PM. Security officers at the event tackled the former Green Party candidate and forced her to the ground, while Trudeau was hustled into a waiting SUV. As she was being pinned, Schmid-Jones repeatedly yelled "Don't hurt me!"
"I expected to be escorted away, but I did not expect to be tackled," she said, adding that she had been "grilled for two hours straight" by police about her actions and what groups she was affiliated with, although she hastened to add that she was "treated with respect by the people who questioned her."
"I did it because I care, and I didn't know how else to get my point across. It was my action. I chose to go this route independently.Schmid-Jones has since been released and has not been charged, although Hamilton Police Services indicated that the matter is still an "active investigation."
"I am grateful for their professionalism."
Earlier in the week, Schmid-Jones had been present at a Green Party-sponsored rally against the Enbridge Line 10 pipeline replacement and expansion, where she was seen alongside Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner. When asked for comment, Green Party press secretary Dan Palmer said that they "strongly condemn that sort of behaviour," and indicated that while Schmid-Jones was still a Green Party member, she was not currently holding "any formal role or title."
He added that the Green Party "absolutely supports her being held to account by local authorities."
Schmid-Jones, meanwhile, said that she doesn't regret her actions.
"I think it was necessary. I've tried so many other means to try and speak about these issues with our political leaders … I thought maybe a symbol would get the point across."Apparently, the seeds were intended as a symbol of Canada's future, and said that she had no intention of hitting him.
"I would have loved to toss them at his feet," she said, but the crowd was so thick that she was forced to throw them at him -- but she said that she would never throw something at somebody intending to hurt them.
Schmid-Jones was at the protest with a small group of protesters from Hamilton 350, a climate change activist group. Also present was her colleague, David Johnson, carrying a "No More Pipelines" banner, who said that the reaction to the protest "surprised" him.
"We just wanted to urge the prime minister to keep his promises," he said, noting a recent "apparent backdown" by the prime minister on the subject of electoral reform, something Trudeau said he is still waiting to hear committee recommendations on.
Meanwhile, it is expected that Prime Minister Trudeau will be avoiding Canada's seedier cities for a while.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]