Protesters return to Congolese embassy

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/12/09/protesters-return-to-congolese-embassy

A moving protest held by Ottawa’s Congolese community Friday got at least three people arrested.

For the second time in four days, a rally was held at the Democratic Republic of the Congo embassy on Range Rd. in Sandy Hill.

The demonstrators are calling for the international community to intervene in what they say was a rigged process that re-elected president Joseph Kabila.

“We’ve got to stop the genocide. We need peace in our country,” said Henriette Yakibonge.

A barricade was already set up around the perimeter of the property when the gathering began at 2 p.m.

The protesters were singing and dancing and there was no sign of violence, unlike Tuesday’s protest.

But when riot police showed up around 4:30 p.m., the crowd began yelling and booing.

Most of them left, heading north toward Laurier Ave., however, it wasn’t immediately clear where they were headed.

“Rideau St. or Parliament or somewhere like that,” said one protester.

They wound up blocking rush hour traffic at King Edward Ave. and Rideau St. where they staged a brief sit-in, prompting the arrests.

Cops pulled out pepper spray but it wasn’t used.

Protesters returned to the embassy where police were once again guarding the embassy.

“We’re going to spread the message until they hear us,” said Yakibonge.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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