TORONTO, March 20, 2016 /CNW/ - Black Lives Matter - Toronto activists and concerned community members have created a tent city protest outside of Nathan Phillips Square. Earlier this evening, hundreds of Torontonians gathered to denounce several manifestations of anti-Black racism in Toronto this week. From the city's attacks of Afrofest to the SIU decision to absolve the police officers responsible for the murder of Andrew Loku, Toronto's black community are coming together to condemn the assaults towards our community from the City of Toronto, Toronto Police Services, and the SIU.
"How many times will this happen, how many times do we have to chant black lives matter?" said Sandy Hudson, co-founder of Black Lives Matter - Toronto. "We've been patient and hoped that the city of Toronto, especially John Tory and Mark Saunders, would hear our demands and take them seriously. From the actions of this past week, clearly hope is an irrational concept."
Black Lives Matter - Toronto has released a list of demands to Mayor John Tory, Police Chief Mark Saunders, the Province of Ontario, and its Special Investigations Unit. The demands include:
- The immediate release of the name(s) of the officer(s) who killed Andrew Loku & Jermaine Carby.
- Charges to be laid against the officers who killed Mr. Loku.
- The immediate and public release of any video footage from the apartment complex where Andrew Loku was murdered.
- Apology to the family of Andrew Loku and monetary compensation.
- A review of the Special Investigations Unit, with adequate consultation from families victimized by police violence,
- A reversal to all city-mandated changes imposed on Afrofest, including its restoration to a 2-day festival.
"We are tired of being the victim and the suspect, this week has been draining emotionally and mentally if you are black and living in Toronto," said Pascale Diverlus, co-founder of Black Lives Matter - Toronto. "If they are going to continue to erase our art, our voice and our bodies we will continue to fight until they understand that our lives do, have always and will always matter"
Black Lives Matter - Toronto is the Toronto chapter of #BlackLivesMatter, an international organization and movement fighting anti-Black racism all over the world.
SOURCE Black Lives Matter Toronto