Black Lives Matter – Toronto (BLM – TO), the self proclaimed “coalition of Black Torontonians resisting anti-Black racism, state-sponsored violence, police brutality,” rallied on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 in front of the offices of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) at 5090 Commerce Blvd, Mississauga, Ont. The protest was aimed at the “racist” and “anti-blackness” practices of the Police and SIU. Similar rallies took place at the same time in Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Thunder Bay, and Sudbury.
The nation-wide protests “Justice for Abdirahman Abdi” were organized in response to the death by Police of the 37-year-old Black Muslim Abdirahman Abdi in Ottawa.
BLM – TO accuses Ottawa Police officers, Dave Weir and Daniel Montison, of “lynching” Abdi “by the bare hands” and committing a “summary execution” in public. “Brother Abdirahman was killed because he teetered on the dangerous intersections of Blackness, Somaliness, Islamophobia, and mental health,” BLM – TO’s statement reads.
Yusra Khogali and Alexandria Williams, co-founders of Black Lives Matter – Toronto, lead the protest with messages about black people being systematically oppressed by the authorities and their duty to fight back against the attack on their bodies in order to achieve the coveted “Black freedom” in Canada.
The following are excerpts from some of the messages sung and recited by Yusra Khogali and Alexandria Williams at the event: