Hate group to face off against anti-racist protesters in Toronto
Things are going to get heavy in Toronto this Saturday as duelling rallies simultaneously kick off at Nathan Phillips Square — one of them a white supremacy group arriving to decry Muslims and protest immigration, the other to decry white supremacists and racism in Canada.
Yeah. It'll be just like Twitter, in real life, but without all the death threats and d*ck pics (I hope).
Rumblings of a show-down between the two, long-feuding groups started a few weeks ago, when the founders of something called WCAI (Worldwide Coalition Against Islam) Canada announced they'd be visiting Toronto.
"After seeing how the terrorists took over Nathan Phillips Square and did an evil call to prayer we decided to take action and take Toronto back WCAI style with no mercy, no retreat and no surrender," reads a Facebook event by the Calgary-based group.
"This will be the first ever WCAI rally in Ontario and we want to make an impact. All other patriot groups are welcome to stand with us."
Such "patriot" groups are described by The Canadian Anti-Hate Network as "the most physically aggressive far-right groups like the Soldiers of Odin, Proud Boys, and the Northern Guard."
All of these groups, according to the nonprofit research organization, have extensive ties to Neo-Nazism and are known to initiate violent, unprovoked assaults at rallies like the one planned for Saturday.
Please boost.— Kathleen KR (@Kathleenytimes) August 7, 2018
This is not the first nazi rally in Toronto this year but it may be the largest. Most important thing is to show up in huge numbers to shut it down. This should be all over social media. Link to counter-protest: https://t.co/wGWZY9rp8G https://t.co/B51HhvkaMa
"On August 11th, the Calgary-based Worldwide Coalition Against Islam is holding a rally at Nathan Phillips Square at 2PM," reads a recent post on the Anti-Hate Network's website. "Counter-demonstrators will be at the square at 1PM."
"In Toronto, counter-demonstrators usually match or outnumber far-right rallies," it continues.
"When the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam tried to host a rally in Vancouver, they were overwhelmed by 5000 peaceful anti-racist demonstrators. They haven't been back since."
A Facebook event promoted by human rights activists invites "the anti-racist majority" — citizens, workers, students and anyone else concerned about "the rising tide of anti-Muslim hate in our city" — to join them in opposition to the WCAI gathering at Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday.
"Racists, neo nazis and Islamophobic groups are rallying at Toronto City Hall," it reads, "to spew hatred against Muslims, immigrants and people of colour in our communities."
"We want to raise our voices to oppose Islamophobia and racism in our community."
My statement on the Anti-Islam Event at @npstoronto on Aug 11. No permit has been issued for this hateful rally and none will be. Nazis and bigots have no place in Toronto and Canada.— Kristyn Wong-Tam (@kristynwongtam) August 7, 2018
Let’s come together to show strength + solidarity with those targeted. https://t.co/LZ0kwtr7fd
Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam linked to this protest on her website, stressing that no permit has been issued for the WCAI event and that none will be.
"I stand with Toronto's diverse communities in rejecting hate and division," she wrote. "Corporate Security is working with the Toronto Police Service to ensure that all those who gather at Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday are safe and to ensure lawful conduct."
Posters have been popping up around town for another, similar protest organized by at least seven different anti-racist and anti-fascist groups.
That rally is called All Out Against Hate Toronto and puts great focus on the timing of WCAI's anti-Muslim rally.
"August 11th bore a warning we'd never forget — hundreds of white supremacists with lit torches marched through the University of Virginia campus, chanting anti-semitic and racist slogans while moving to encircle a small group of counterprotesters," reads the event, referring to the deadly Charlottesville riots of 2017, where a white nationalist murdered a counterprotestor.
"If Charlottesville taught us anything, it’s that the power of working-class solidarity through struggle serves as an unending beacon of justice," it continues.
"So we ask you, friends and comrades, to come out and fight with us on August 11th 2018 to show WCAI that their racism and Islamophobia will not be tolerated!"
#cdnpoli #onpoli #TOpoli #torontopolice pic.twitter.com/RngQ70YTTk— Robert Lee (@downtownrob88) August 8, 2018
WCAI Canada, for its part, is trying to raise funds for others in their group to travel from Calgary to Toronto for the event.
The group's website is currently offline, but they continue to launch GoFundMe campaigns, all of which are being shut down with hours by the platform.
"The time for action is now," said WCAI Canada president Joey De Luca in a video posted to the group's Facebook page on Tuesday.
"We're coming out there, because there's just too much bullshit going on with these terrorist attacks and sexual assaults… and, you know, getting political correctness crammed down our throats to the point where we can’t even breathe."
"There's no more of these soft, anti-Trudeau, Trudeau-must-go rallies and this and that," he continued.
"We're coming out there with a hard hitting message right in your face, and then we're gunna crush political correctness where we see it, right where they stand."
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