TORONTO, March 29, 2016 /CNW/ - Toronto's Black communities are vowing to bring their anti-police brutality protest directly to politicians in the second week of their demonstration. Black Torontonians continue to protest outside Toronto Police Services' Headquarters as part of a larger protest organized by Black Lives Matter – Toronto called #BLMTOTentCity. Despite a week of sustained protest and wide public support both locally and internationally, politicians have ignored the protest altogether.
"The decision makers to whom we have submitted our demands continue to ignore the Black community and thousands of people who support us," said Janaya Khan, co-founder of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. "So we have no choice but to bring our actions to them."
Mayor John Tory stated that he could not comment on the efforts of Tent City because he has not had time to read the one-page report from the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). The SIU concluded that the officers who murdered 47-year-old Black man Andrew Loku would not face criminal charges. The SIU report is less than one page.
"So many Black Torontonians feel so desperate to end anti-Black police violence that they are willing to camp out in the cold for days, and the Mayor can't take the time to read a short report so he can respond to our concerns?" said Rodney Diverlus, co-founder of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. "A man has died! I am ashamed to call myself a Torontonian, today."
In addition to Mayor Tory, Police Chief Saunders and Premier Kathleen Wynne have yet to respond, publically acknowledge, or comment on the protesters' demands and their issues brought forward.
Three Toronto city councillors, Mike Layton, Kristyn Wong-Tam, and Gord Perks have drafted a motion, which will be submitted to city council on March 31. This motion includes asking city council to put pressure on the province for reforms to the Special Investigations Unit, in consultation with the affected communities. That motion will be brought to the floor and debated later this week.
Black Lives Matter – Toronto will release specifics about how they intend to bring their protest to decision-makers as it happens.
Black Lives Matter-Toronto is the Toronto chapter of the #BlackLivesMatter network, an international organization and movement fighting anti-Black racism and state-sanctioned violence.
SOURCE Black Lives Matter - Toronto
Image with caption: "Black Lives Matter-Toronto Co-Founder Pascale Diverlus at BLMTO BlackOUT Against Police Violence Rally Saturday March 26th 2016. Photographed by Paige Galette (CNW Group/Black Lives Matter - Toronto)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160329_C2638_PHOTO_EN_652549.jpg
For further information: Sandy Hudson at info@blacklivesmatterTO.ca or 416-722-8842; Rodney Diverlus at info@blacklivesmatterTO.ca or 647-456-8476