On Saturday, April 1, 2017, Protesters affiliated with the Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens (CCCC) held at Toronto’s Nathan Philips Square a rally in support of free speech and against Motion 103, also known as the anti-Islamophobia motion.
Among the protesters were seen also activists with Suffragette, Soldiers of Odin and the Jewish Defence League.
The rally started with playing the national anthem and waving Canadian flags. Spokesperson on behalf of the organizers told CIJnews that the protest is part of a “peaceful political revolution” and an effort to build a national-wide grassroots movement to protect Canadian democracy and values.
The protesters chanted the following slogans: “Trudeau must go”, “We are the patriots”, “We stand on guard for thee” and “Defund CBC” among others. The carried signs that read:
- Free speech No Motion 103
- I support free speech Stop M-103 – Prophet Mohammad
- Shariah Fee Zone – Trudeau must go
- [Justin Trudeau] like a rock only dumber
- Jihadi Justin must go
- Please donate to save Canada – send this family [Trudeau’s family] to Syria
- Imam Sayed alGhitawi “O Allah, kill them one by one”
- Imam Omar Subedar: “Allah has permitted the husband to discipline his wife by striking her”
- ICNA Canada – “Islam is incompatible with the Western democracy”
- [Pictures of a veiled woman and a muzzled dog] Is this liberty?
Masked activists, who took part in Antifa’s counter protest, attacked the pro free speech protesters and clashed with the police. The police apprehended several suspects.
Antifa announced victory over the free speech protest:
Today’s counter demo was really successful. We were able to keep the fascists into their little circle of hate. None of their banners and none of their hate was visible or audible from the street, thanks to some wonderful tactics shown by the entire crowd. They were not able to take the streets this time and that is a HUGE win. Let’s keep this momentum going. They plan to hold “rallies” on the first Saturday of every month. We will be there EVERY time. These are our streets. NO PLATFORM FOR FASCISTS!!
The following are excerpts from Antifa’s detailed account on the counter protest:
Our allies were also present, including groups such as Coalition Against White Supremacy and Islamophobia (CAWI) Organizing Committee Against Islamophobia (OCAI), Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), ANTIFA Toronto, local anarchists, and other supporters...
The first small squad of fascists arrived around 11am. They were quickly surrounded, watched, and contained by our members and allies. We were able to force them from their default spot against the ramp, which they have used for the last two events, keeping them floating in a weakly defended cohort. This group clashed with antifascists on the east side of the square by the ramp, before police arrived and made several arrests. Unsurprisingly, fascists who participated in the short brawl were released quickly after arrest…
One comrade was arrested after police claimed that the individual’s sign – a piece of white bristol board that read “NAZI PUNKS FUCK OFF” – was weapon-like. This comrade was then forced by police to unmask in front of several white supremacists.
After the bulk of the fascist organizers had arrived (around 25 individuals), the police formed their usual barrier of bicycles to protect them…
We used speakers to drown out the fascists with a cheerful playlist of leftist punk music. Police tried to make us shut off our music, first with warnings, then by force. Antifascist comrades formed a human barrier, successfully preventing the cops from seizing our speakers.
There was a period of relative uneventfulness, while we engaged in small shouting matches with fascists protected by the barrier. Small clashes erupted on occasion, and cops used one of these opportunities to move their barrier outwards. At least one masked comrade was grabbed by police, though comrades were successful in pulling them out of their grasp…
The fascists were denied the opportunity to march today as they did two weeks ago. This is likely because of the counter-demo’s numbers. Police likely told them they could not guarantee protection, or they did not want to bother with the hassle of keeping a crowd of our size at bay.
These fascists are paper tigers that can’t act without police protection. After only 2 hours or so (a significantly smaller rally time than their previous gatherings!), the fascists got tired and made their retreat to an entrance of the parking garage, protected by their loyal police escort (with another 20+ police showing up). One masked comrade was tackled by police and arrested, simply for approaching this entrance.
Masked comrades made their way to the exit of the parking garage, knowing that the fascists would soon emerge. Police made their way to our position, forming another bike barricade to protect the fascists’ cars (including a “walk of shame” for 4-6 JDL members who hadn’t remembered to park underground). A small group of 9-10 police on horseback waited nearby, watching us. As the cars left, there was one final clash, in which a masked comrade was arrested (and later released)…
We condemn the arrests made today by the police, who are again showing less restraint in detaining us than the violent white supremacists who slugged a comrade of ours. As the runnings dogs of the capitalist state, we again want to remind people that drawing lines against fascism means drawing them against police too…
We are seeing progress being made in our work. Fascists could not organize effectively today: they could not be heard, they could not be seen, and they could not march.
To read CBC report on the dueling protests click HERE.
See also: Journalists were assaulted by left-wing protesters at Toronto free speech rally (click HERE)