TORONTO (NEWS 1130) — Demonstrations are being held across the country Saturday, calling attention to racial injustice and police brutality following the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last Sunday.
Organizers with ‘Not Another Black Life’ say the Toronto protests are in solidarity with nationwide marches calling to defund the police.
Protesters in Toronto are also demanding police disarm, decriminalize sex work and drugs and fully invest in care, not cops.
— Erica Natividad (@CityErica) August 29, 2020
In June, Toronto City Council voted against the motion to defund the police by 10 per cent but instead Council and the Toronto Police Service Board work to create 80 recommendations on police reform.
Meanwhile, in Montreal, images from the event are circling on social media and show a crowd of protesters marching in the rain under umbrellas and carrying signs demanding change.
The organizers, who call themselves the Coalition for BIPOC Liberation, are asking for cities to reduce their police budgets by 50 per cent.
They say the diverted funds could be used to invest in policing alternatives such as better mental health treatment, civilian conflict resolution services, and trauma-based emergency services.
— CityNews Montreal (@CityNewsMTL) August 29, 2020
Calls to withdraw funding from police forces have multiplied in both Canada and the United States in recent months after the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Demonstrations will also be held in London, Fredericton, Calgary, Moncton and Halifax.
There is no protest planned for Vancouver this week, but Black Vancouver has scheduled a rally in solidary with Jacob Blake for Sept. 4.