Council of Canadians supports Black Lives Matter tent city in Toronto

The Council of Canadians supports the Black Lives Matter movement.

CBC reports, "Following the March 16 announcement that the annual festival of African music and culture Afrofest would be shortened by the City of Toronto from two days to one (a decision that was overturned Wednesday) and the March 18 announcement by Ontario's Special Investigations Unit that the unnamed officer who shot 45-year old civilian Andrew Loku last July used justifiable force, Black Lives Matter Toronto decided to take action. A rally held at Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday evolved into what is now the tent city occupation outside police headquarters."

Toronto-based journalist Desmond Cole recently wrote in the Toronto Star that, "The courageous organizers of Black Lives Matter Toronto are holding space to demand justice for Loku, and for all those who experience police brutality and systemic racism. In sustaining this protest, they have opened a forum for others who face systemic racism and political indifference: injured migrant farm workers, indigenous people, the homeless, the undocumented. Many clearly see the disrespect shown to Loku and his family, and are standing in solidarity to bring about accountability."

In expressing our solidarity, we also join with Unifor, the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, CUPE, the Canadian Federation of Students, and numerous allies who are calling for an end to racism and greater police accountability.

John Cartwright, the president of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council and a member of the Council of Canadians Board of Directors, highlights, "The police can and must do better to 'Serve and Protect' the residents of this diverse city. Those who are out demonstrating their frustration in the cold days and nights ought to have their questions and concerns addressed."

Unifor president Jerry Dias, who spoke at our annual conference this past October in Windsor, has just tweeted, "Solidarity is an important expression of commitment against racism - we must be united for change."

And CUPE has stated, "The Black Lives Matter movement has emerged against police violence faced by Black people across North America, and against systematic racial profiling by officials at all levels of the state. This international movement directly confronts the dehumanizing actions of the state and seeks to liberate and empower black people across the globe."

The Black Lives Matter protest is now in the fifth day of its tent city occupation outside Toronto police headquarters on College Street.

For more, please see #BLMTOTentCity on Twitter.