Opposing protests took place at Toronto’s Nathan Philips Square on Saturday, March 4, 2017; one against white supremacy and Islamophobia and the second in support of free speech.
The Organizing Committee Against Islamophobia (OCAI) published a list of demands from the federal government including: condemning “racists and fascists”, repealing the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, Anti-Terrorism Act and the Safe Third Country Agreement, opening Canada’s borders to immigrants and giving permanent residency status to undocumented workers.
The Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens (CCCC) named its protest the “March For Freedom, Liberty & Justice against M-103” (anti Islamophobia motion) and called Canadians to stand against Sharia Law & Globalization.
Police arrested several people who physically attacked participants at CCCC’s protest, including a woman who was holding a sign of the Suffra Jette movement.
The major media outlets reported on the violent incidents but refrained from elaborating any details about the affiliation of the attackers or the victims.
The following are media’s reports on the incidents:
CBC – “Police formed barricades during Saturday’s protests. There were also multiple arrests, said Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook. Two people were arrested and are now facing charges, while a third was arrested and released at the scene, she said. There is no word yet on what the two were charged with.”
Toronto Star: “The police made three arrests. One person was released, one arrest was for a warrant unrelated to the event and police had no details on the other by press time.”
Global – “Dozens of officers were at the scene of the protests and police bikes acted as a barricade separating the two sides. At least two people were arrested, according to police.”
An article on It’s Going Down website by “Anonymous Contributor” shed a light on the violence that erupted on Saturday, the perpetrators and their ideology. The following are excerpts from the article:
I arrived an hour early and met up with my first and we quickly scoped out the scene and started walking around the square…
We then spotted three Soldiers of Odin in full uniform and rushed back to the square to see if it was going down. I spotted off to the side the fascists setting up mics and getting ready and no police protecting them yet, my comrade and I rushed in behind as soon as the one lady started saying some fucking racist bullshit speech.
Quietly, from behind we ripped the mic out and started pulling on the cable trying to destroy it. We were quickly surrounded and started fighting the racists when police of course jumped on us.
My comrade was detained by three cops and I broke free from the one. I ran back and grabbed the others and we all mobilized to the front, now it was going down!…
We weren’t able to shut them down as we planned but we had great minor victories. The Rebel, a racist piece of shit wannabe journalism outlet showed up and we shut them down fairly quick, we pushed them right out very fast and smooth. Other neo nazi media outlets were there and same thing, no one talked to them nothing to twist around with editing just fully masked antifa blocking cameras and making racists afraid again.