As the city’s Budget Committee wrapped up for the year, hundreds of demonstrators, including Socialist Action Canada and members of the Municipal Socialist Alliance, rallied outside of Toronto City Hall, demanding that the Toronto city council divest from the Toronto police budget and invest in Toronto communities.
Toronto Mayor John Tory and the Toronto city council pledged a $48.3 million dollar increase for policing in the 2023 Toronto city budget, which represents a 4.3% increase over the bloated 2022 TPS police budget.
The Tuesday, January 24th protest was MC’d by Robyn Maynard and the Toronto No Pride in Policing Coalition. Speakers included Claudette Beals-Clayton, mother of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Taresh Bobby Ramroop family members, Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction, TTC Riders, Jane-Finch Action Against Poverty, ESN Parkdale, and members of No Pride in Policing.
The event was organized by the No Pride in Policing Coalition, No More Silence, SURJ Toronto, Doctors for Defunding Police, Policing Free Schools, Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction, No One Is Illegal Toronto, Bloordale Community Response, Jane-Finch Action Against Poverty
Socialist Action, S.M.A.S.H, Protest Toronto Police Budget
O’Gilvie, 27 years old at the time of the violent attack, was heading to the University of Toronto on August 12th, 2021. Toronto police disciplinary documents categorized the incident as a case of ‘mistaken identity,’ but the lawyer representing O’Gilvie and his family told CBC that it was instead a case of someone being assaulted for “walking while being Black,”
While O’Gilvie was headed to school, he was followed by Toronto police, cornered and unlawfully detained. According to O’Gilvie, he was then forced to the ground with a knee on his neck and repeatedly shocked with a Taser.
While the allegations have not been proven in a court of law, Hasani O’Gilvie and his mother are now suing three Toronto police officers, along with the Toronto Police Services Board, for just under $3 million dollars for the violent incident.
This story is just one of many violent interactions that young people in Toronto have reported having with Toronto police while commuting to or from school.
In 2018, a 19-year-old Black young adult was unlawfully detained by TTC inspection officers near St. Clair West station. The victim was grabbed and violently pinned to the ground by fare inspectors, where he suffered severe physical and psychological harm. The incident resulted in a lawsuit, which saw the TTC and Toronto Police agreeing to a settlement.