Thousands in Toronto demonstrate against Islamophobia, White Supremacy and Deportations

TORONTO, Feb. 4, 2017 /CNW/ - Thousands of people are gathering at the US Consulate today in Toronto, joining actions against Islamophobia and White Supremacy taking place in cities across the country. In the wake of the tragic terrorist attack in which six Muslims were massacred and many others seriously injured while worshipping at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre and mosque, the vandalism of a mosque in Montreal and Trump's hateful policies banning Muslims and refugees, demonstrators will march to a federal courthouse demanding action from the Canadian government.

"We can't just speak to our values. We have to act on our values," said Walied Khogali, a Toronto community activist and one of the protest organizers. "Standing up for Canada means telling our friends south of the border that their policies are xenophobic, Islamophobic and they're making Canadians less safe."

In less than a week, over 150 organizations have endorsed the National Day of Action against Islamophobia and White Supremacy. Civil society across the country, from national unions that represent teachers, postal workers and other professions to student associations and environmental groups, have united to combat hate.

Hussan Syed, organizer with No One Is Illegal Toronto asserts that "Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Hussen are prioritizing platitudes over policy. If Canada is serious about standing up to Trump, it must start with opening the borders to migrants and refugees. It must start with revoking the Safe Third Country Agreement, the Designated Country of Origin list, caps on sponsorships and allowing for special humanitarian consideration of applicants coming from the US as well as an end to Islamophobic laws here."

Demonstrators are calling on the government to:

  1. Condemn Trump
  2. Open the Borders
  3. End Canada's own racist, anti-refugee, anti-Black, Islamophobic exclusion of migrants and refugees
  4. Canada must rescind all federal legislation that attacks racialized Black and Brown Muslims and refugees, including the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act as well as anti-terror legislation such as Security Certificates and Bill C51

The Trudeau government has to date refused to make policy changes in response to the legalization of Islamophobia in the United States. The violence in Quebec shows that Canada is not a safe place for Black and Brown Muslims and refugees. Demonstrators say that Canada must take action to prevent serious hate crimes and allow migrants the freedom of movement.

Jeewan Chanicka, community activist and educator believes that, "It is imperative for our politicians to take a decisive stand and support the most vulnerable members of our society."

Over 150 organizations have issued a joint statement against Islamophobia and Deportations signing on to the demonstrators' goals.

SOURCE National Day of Action against Islamophobia and White Supremacy Organizing Committee

For further information: Walied Khogali - 416-625-7712 (Cell); Hussan Syed - 416-453-3632 (Cell); Jeewan Chanicka - 416-419-1660 (Cell)

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National Day of Action against Islamophobia and White Supremacy Organizing Committee

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