Canadians honored the nation's 158 soldiers who have died in the Afghanistan war during a remembrance ceremony in downtown Toronto on Sunday. It was not a political event by any stretch of the imagination.
But that didn't stop two women, who claimed to be "Afghan women," from screaming at the participants at the ceremony, making known their opposition to Canada's involvement in the war. The incitement led to a chaotic scene where fists were thrown and police intervention was needed.
"Where's freedom? All you do is bomb other countries like mine," one of the women shouts.
"Who's going to remember the Afghans who were killed in this illegal occupation," the other woman yells.
A short time later, all hell broke lose. While it's unclear what started the initial physical altercation, two men can be seen on video throwing punches and wrestling. Neither man was identified so it is uncertain whether one of the men was with the anti-war group.
Police quickly arrived to break up the scuffle and briefly detained the apparent male aggressor. However, they did not end up putting him in handcuffs or arresting him.
Some cross talk -- and a lot of obscenities -- were exchanged between the anti-war group and others but there didn't appear to be any further violence.
Our friends Sun News have more details from Canada, including an email from the two female protesters:
Interesting that much of this disrespect came from, seemingly, some of the very people who should have been at this ceremony saying thank you. Instead they attempted to ruin it.
"I cannot, and will not, be silent in a ceremony used to glorify Canada's mission in Afghanistan, where many of my fellow Afghans were detained, tortured and killed because of the Canadian military," explained Suraia Sahar in an e-mail to Newstalk 1010 reporter Siobhan Morris, as well as Showgram host Jim Richards and producers Jessie Lorraine and Jordan Whelan.
Sahar wrote she and friend Laila were protesting because "there is no honour" in Remembrance Day. "As an Afghan Canadian my anger can be justified," she wrote. "But I faced enough verbal abuse by racist, angry old white people telling me to go back to my country, and that the Canadian military should kill more Afghans."
Watch Sun News' video report below: