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Community Groups Rally at 51 Division on International Day Against Police Brutality


Tuesday, March 15 2011, Toronto: The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), with the support of community groups across Toronto, has called for a rally today– the International Day Against Police Brutality – outside Toronto Police Services’ 51 Division headquarters- located at Front and Parliament - at 5pm. The rally is a direct response to the on-going harassment, violence and brutality perpetrated by the Police in targeted communities across this city. Dozens of residents from these communities, including victims and survivors of routine Police abuse will be present at this rally, along with numerous members from OCAP, No One Is Illegal-Toronto, Jane-Finch Action Against Poverty, Barrio Nuevo, the Toronto Drug Users Union and the Community Solidarity Network.

While the dreadful images of the repression that turned Toronto into a Police state and resulted in the largest mass arrest in Canada’s history still remain painfully fresh in the minds of so many in this city, the spectacle of the G20 masks a deeper, uglier and a more vulgar reality; a reality that residents in marginalized and targeted communities across this city – the poor, the homeless, migrants, racialized youth, those without status, indigenous peoples, sex workers, drug users and those with mental health issues– are forced to battle every day; a reality in which the Police racially profile, beat, harass, brutalize and kill people with impunity.

“What the mainstream Canadian society needs to realize is that the violence that the Police unleashed on the general public during the G20 is a daily lived reality in our neighbourhood. Every week, every day of the year feels like the G20 for residents of our communities,” said Butterfly, member of Jane Finch Action Against Poverty. "Since 2008 the Jane and Finch community has been waiting for a response from a rally held at 31 Division. The community presented Chris White [Superintendent at 31 Division] a letter to end the ‘tough policing’ strategies currently being employed by 31 Division. We still wait for a response," she continued.

Outrage in impacted communities has grown dramatically over the past year with the wilful killings of 18-year old Junior Manon and Eric Osawe. Programs such as the TAVIS (Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy) are launched with an eye toward managing community perceptions, rather than addressing the roots of systemic injustice..

"The police continue to racially profile people and hand them over to immigration enforcement while making it impossible for undocumented people to seek protection - the case of Daniel Garcia and Liliana Fontes in recent months are just two examples of Toronto Police wasting municipal funds to support unjust federal laws", stated Mohan Mishra, of No One Is Illegal-Toronto.

Victoria Barnett, member of the Community Solidarity Network, added, “We gather today not just to expose the reality of repressive policing in targeted communities across this city, but to advise them of our will and capacity to resist, and to demand that those who have been charged and arrested for their resistance have all charges dropped."

The Police have historically served to maintain a social order in this country that protects the governments, the banks and the rich while criminalizing the rest.

“Despite the trillions of dollars stolen, embezzled and extorted by high-ranking executives in banks and finance companies which led to the present economic crisis, the police are not in the habit of kicking down doors on Bay St. Instead they are kicking down doors, ticketing, arresting, beating and killing people in poor communities,” added a member from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.


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Tim Groves (Tim Groves)
Member since June 2009


536 words


What a joke

80% of the people who I arrest are black.  Not becuase I am a racist but that 80% of the crime is being committe by them.  grow up.  stop blaming the white man for crimes committed generations ago.  Look at the jewish community.  by far the worst crimes against humanity were against them and where are they today? 

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