The Christie Pits Commerorative BBQ was underway by noon with more than 40 participants. Members of the community and organizations sporting some very beautiful banners made it clear that Toronto ugly past of antisemitism will not be forgotten and will not be accepted in our modern society.
SA members were among the participants where a new anti-fascist banner was unfurled, and, with the help of some trusty hockey tape, was flown along the park path to the praise of onlookers seeking photos and offering support.
SA members mingled with the crowd discussing today’s events, looking back at the history that shaped Toronto, using the opportunity to discuss the ideals and goals of SA to willful ears.
At about 2:30, after everyone was fed, a few attendees were organized to speak.
In spite of a dead megaphone, an attentive crowd gathered and listened to talks on the significance of this rally, the need to stand together against discrimination and unabashed ignorance, and an assessment of the different merging hate groups and their international affiliates, reminding us of the importance of international solidarity against hate.
Specific importance was given to the changing face of fascism and the twisted language used to fool people into thinking they are something other than hate mongers as well as challenging the crowd to be critical when they hear restrictive and simplified talk of race and ideology and not give credence to caricatures and discriminatory sentiments of ethnic and marginalized groups.
The event ended with the destruction of an appropriated hate group banner by various members of the crowd followed by roaring applause. Very fitting given the first riot was incited by the display of a nazi banner. Organizers thanked everyone for their support and began to pack up as many conversations continued with feelings of good will and unity resonating through out the park.
The event, on a whole, was a very pleasant meeting and sign of solidarity, but as we were reminded throughout the talks, we will not always be among friends. we must be alert, aware and present going forward, through our united voice of reason we will drown out those of hate and expose the lies of the divisionary, manipulative, and oppressive.
We at SA would like to thank IWW General Defence Committe Local 28, United Jewish Peoples Order, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, International Socialists and the Organizing Committee Against Islamophobia for setting up this event.