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June 24, 2004

Man removed from Tory rally

From: - Canada - Jun 24, 2004

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (CP) - A deaf man who held up a sign asking why there were no interpreters was escorted out of a packed Conservative rally Thursday night.

Local police hired as security at the rally for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper rally moved in on the protester, who was wearing a Conservative pin. No one could confirm whether the man, who also held a placard that read "Shame," was a party member.

Two plainclothes officers escorted the man, who said nothing, through the crowd and off the hotel property where the private event was held. He only shook his head when asked his name.

Belleville is home to Sir James Whitney School, a renowned institution for deaf students.

The Conservative party has been criticized by some advocates for the disabled, who say it pays little attention to their needs.

Jim Armour, a spokesman for the Conservative leader, said escorting the man out was "standard procedure."

"If there are protesters onsite they're asked to ... move to public property.

"We treat all protesters equally."

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