The anti-Islamophobia, anti “white”-supremacy and anti Justin Trudeau protest at Toronto’s Nathan Philips Square on Saturday, March 4, 2017 highlighted also a message of opposition to the wars against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (aka ISIS, Daesh, Caliphate) and Yemen’s pro-Iranian militias.
A sign on the central stage read the following:
- Refugees welcome
- (Fascists not)
- Yes to refugees
- No to Islamophobia
- No to war in Syria and Iraq
The first speaker on behalf the Organizing Committee Against Islamophobia (OCAI) accused Justin Trudeau Liberal government among other things of espousing white supremacist policy, committing ongoing “genocide” against the Indigenous people, arming the Islamic regime of Saudi Arabia that bombed Yemeni children and exploiting refugees and immigrants. She called the federal government to repeal the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act that criminalizes forced marriage and tackles ‘honour killings’. To read the transcript of her speech and watch the video click HERE.
The Canadian flag was not displayed and the National Anthem was not played at the protest. For a photo gallery from the event click HERE.
In his speech, Syed Hussan portrayed Canada as a rogue state accusing Justin Trudeau Liberal government of implementing a colonial policy, taking part in wars and criminally neglecting indigenous people. Hussan said that anti-islamophobia motion is not enough calling for an orchestrated popular struggle to make sure that “racists” cannot gather and to “cut off the head of racism.”
The following are excerpts from Syed Hussan’s speech:
Colonialism… continues on these lands…
We need to come to terms with the fact that we live in a country, we live in a society, we live in a community, that is racist (crowd: shame).
We live in a country, in a community in a society that goes to war (crowd: shame).
We live in a country, in a community in a society where indigenous women are disappeared and murdered (crowd: shame).
We live in a country, in a community in a society where indigenous children are stolen from their families (crowd: shame).
We live in a country, in a community in a society where just if you don’t have a citizen status you can die, you can be denied health care (crowd: shame).
This is our reality. We have been for too long completely comfortable, completely confident in this idea that this place is somehow better, that we somehow achieved something…
What was achieved here has been achieved as a result of a collective, social struggle… if you talk about anything that is good in this country it was not given to us. We took it… and we get it in opposition to government, in opposition to elected parties…
We are not going to simply be ok with this motion to study the possible effects of Islamophobia and racism in this country. Are we? (crowd: no). We are not here to just defend a motion in Parliament by the same government that is breaking, that is breaking its promise to indigenous people, that sends more weapons to Yemen (sic. meant to Saudi Arabia)… that is not the government that we are supporting. This is not the policy that we can support…
[We gathered in a] symbolic protest to show that these racists cannot gather, will not gather. We need to commit to something more important, something more critical… if there is any work that you do, in your neighbourhood, in your community racism raises its ugly head and your job, our job is to find it and cut its head off.
Change will not come from laws, will not come from policies. It will not come from symbolic protests. It will come when we gather in the tens of hundreds of thousands we wage these battles. We find where they are the weakest and we attack together in solidarity, connecting all our struggles, gender justice, racial justice, economic justice, indigenous sovereignty. We will come together to fight, to win.
On February 4, 2017 Syed Hussan took part at a rally in front of the American Consulate in Toronto to protest the policy of US President Donald Trump. The demonstration was organized by Black Lives Matter – Toronto (BLM TO) – the self proclaimed “coalition of Black Torontonians resisting anti-Black racism, state-sponsored violence and police brutality” – that launched a nation-wide campaign entitled “National Days of Action Against Islamophobia & Deportations.”
In his speech at this event, Syed Hussan portrayed white supremacy, capitalism and liberalism as the enemy describing Donald Trump and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the two sides of the same coin.
He called on the masses to organize and united under the common goal of dismantling the current governing system in the West, including by breaking down borders, prisons and detention centers, seizing farms and factories and becoming the enemies of the authorities.
“We must celebrate our way of life, what they called barbaric cultural practices on our streets and in our homes until their way of life dissipates under our feet,” Syed Hussan said.
The following is the transcription of Syed Hussan’s speech:
I want you to repeat these names with me Mamadou [Tanou Barry], Abdelkrim [Hassane], Khaled [Belkacemi], Aboubaker [Thabti], Azzeddine [Soufiane], Ibrahima [Barry] shot, killed, murdered, executed, massacred while praying, for praying, never forget. Lives extinguished, families torn apart, children made fatherless, a river of tears. A river of tears by the gun shots of a single man [Alexandre Bissonnette] or so we are told. An act of hate someone has to believe.But this act, this attack, this shooting was no act of hate. It is a strategic act, and intentional act, a thoughtful act. Mamadou [Tanou Barry], Abdelkrim Hassane] and Khaled [Belkacemi] were killed because they were seen as enemies. Aboubaker [Thabti], Azzeddine [Soufiane], Ibrahima [Barry] were killed not by a lone wolf, but because they were threats. You see, we, you and I, pushed out by borders, beaten down by police and impoverished in our communities. We are threats. We are fundamental challenge to our system of oppressiveness, this destructive way of life that cherishes the few over the many.
This way for life is what killed them. It gauges on oil to spread its evil wings. And to steal this oil it must declare us, it must declare the places we come from with oil, anti of humanity. It must turn us into enemies. This way of life is Islamophobia. It’s Capitalism. This way of life brings perpetual war, enraging war from Mosul (Iraq) to Mogadishu (Somalia), from the Chiapas (Mexico) to Chernobyl (Ukraine), from Aleppo (Syria) to Algeria. For as long as there has been history, black, brown, we’re the others. It is on our deaths that this system, this way of life, dances. And this way of life is what killed those six men. This way of life needs borders. It needs to divide some of us into citizens and the rest of us into undocumented, migraines, others.It needs to steal Indigenous children, destroy language, disappear women. We are made into enemies, disposable, locked up in prisons, forced to do endangered labour, in forms of factories. Pushed of our lands, recorded, weighed and measured for our skin.
This murderous way of life is white supremacy. This way pf life needs to be taken care off, its children fed, its food cooked, its homes kept warm and for that it must have gender, women. Women that are made to serve but watch closely. This way life is patriarchy. And this way of life, the one that killed our six loved ones, needs armed forces whose work is death. And it needs bureaucrats, it needs administrators to sustain it. It needs courthouses like this one [The Toronto Courthouse]. And it needs a public, a public that is you and I to uphold these laws, enforcing them in the smallest of ways as teachers that check ID cards, as nurses that check health cards.
This kind way of life is liberalism. And this way of life comes in all colours. It comes in the red, the blue and the orange of your political parties. It comes in many flavors. It comes in a caustic bile of [US President Donald] Trump and it comes in the saturated sweetness of [Justin] Trudeau, who defends Muslims, but will arm the [Saudi] bombing of Yemen, who defends Muslims, but will scrap to the likes of Barrick Gold [mining company] and will not clean the five decade long of mercury poisoning in Grassy [Narrows Reserve in Ontario].
So listen, why did drop bombs on us like [former US President Barack] Obama. What did they ban us like Trump? Or why did hug a few of us like Trudeau? To them we are enemies. On one side is the border wall. On the other side is the enemy. On one side is the prison and inside the prison the enemy. On one side the police and underneath the police the enemy. On one side is the deportation judge and in front of him the enemy. On one side the slave ship and inside it the enemy. On one side the drone pilot and on its screen the enemy. On one side that murderer [Alexandre Bissonnette] and in front of him six men in prayer the enemy.
So today I say to you: become the enemy. Become the enemies that they have nightmares about. Let’s gather in the tens, the thousands, the hundreds thousands to form organizations and movements, movements that will exert power and reshape our society. In millions we need to rewrite history. We cannot respond to Trudeau’s symbolic tweet with a symbolic protest. We must rest out the guns on front those that wishes that. We must break down the borders that keep out migrants and refugees. We must tear down the prisons and the detention centers.
We will seize the farms and the factories. We must become the enemies, so that in this city everyone can live with food, shelter, dignity. We must become the enemies that sow terror in their hearts so that laws like C-51 shredded away. We must celebrate our way of life, what they called barbaric cultural practices on our streets and in our homes until their way of life dissipates under our feet. Let us become enemies. Let us organize. Let us win. We cannot wait. Freedom is calling. This is what these demands, that demand of us, let us be enemies.
The demonstration on March 5, 2017 was supported by Communist Party of Canada, Revolutionary Communist Party, PAJU- Palestinian & Jewish Unity, Independent Jewish Voices Canada – Toronto, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network – Canada, Actions4Palestine, CFS Ontario // FCÉÉ Ontario, Committee of Progressive Pakistani Canadians, Common Frontiers, Christian Peacemaker Teams – Ontario, CUPE 3903, Educators for Peace and Justice, Fight for $15 & Fairness, Frente Para La Defensa Hugo Chávez, Hugo Chavez Peoples’ Defense Front, LAEN Latin American Education Network, Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network (LACSN), MISN: Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, McMaster Womanists, OCAP Toronto,Pegida Watch Canada, Salaam Canada, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights – McMaster, Stop the JNF Campaign – Canada, SURJ Toronto, Toronto Against Fascism, The Anglican church of St. John’s West Toronto, Toronto Anarchist Reading Group, Toronto Socialist Alternative, Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance – Ontario, UNITE HERE Local 75, Westdale Social Action Committee, Women in Solidarity With Palestine, Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto], Young Communist League – Hamilton, Young Communist League – Toronto and York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA). For more information click HERE.