Black Lives Matter crash Mayor Tory's Black History celebration: don't just celebrate our history, support our future

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - Black Lives Matter activists crashed Mayor Tory's Black History Month reception at Toronto City Hall today to highlight the injustices against Toronto's Black communities. Armed with posters calling attention to issues of anti-Black racism in policing and education, the message was clear: to simply celebrate the contributions of Black people while ignoring the injustices facing Black Torontonians amounts to hypocrisy.

"I'm tired of largely white politicians using Black History Month as a way to pat themselves on the back," said Pascale Diverlus, co-founder of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. "How dare you ignore scores of community telling you to end the anti-Black practice of carding, and then claim to support us through a toothless, one-hour ceremony? It's offensive."

Protesters held signs calling for answers into the death of Andrew Loku, a Black man who was killed by Toronto Police in the summer of 2015. They also highlighted issues with education, comparing the budgetary increase for policing to the budgetary deficit for the Toronto District School Board.

"The anti-Blackness in the school system is obvious. Push-out rates, streaming, and lack of support for schools in communities with high populations of Black students are a reality," said Alexandria Williams, co-founder of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. "Where is the Mayor's work on these issues? We don't need the Mayor to pat himself on the back. We need action."

Black Lives Matter Toronto is the Toronto chapter of #BlackLivesMatter, an international organization and movement fighting police and State violence and anti-black racism.

SOURCE Black Lives Matter Toronto

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