Anti-Islam rally met with massive counter-protest in Toronto
Tensions were high in downtown Toronto yesterday after supporters of a far-right, anti-Islam group were outnumbered at their own rally by counter-protestors.
Around 30 members of the nationalist group Pegida gathered at Dundas and University yesterday afternoon for a planned demonstration.
In response, they were met by around 250 counter-protesters who had arranged their own Toronto Against Facism Rally.
Toronto Police were out in a show of full force for the event.
Toronto Police brought riot officers, horses, surveillance vans, a bus (?), the emergency logistics unit, public safety unit, and of course non-uniform officers to take video.— du(ali)ty (@alijaveed_) March 23, 2019
This is the most I've seen. #topoli #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/m5wA6E5lVP
Scores of riot officers were on the scene, arriving in surveillance vans, Toronto Police buses, and horses. They put up barricades between both groups as tensions escalated.
I strongly condemn the ideology & tactics of white supremacists planning to demonstrate & disrupt today in our city. There is no place for them in our Toronto. I’ve spoken to Chief @marksaunderstps. He assures me police are aware of event & plans are in place to deal with it.— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 23, 2019
Mayor John Tory assured his followers on Twitter yesterday morning that he and Chief Mark Saunders had already discussed plans for securing the area. He condemned the white supremacist group in his tweet, saying "There is no place for them in our Toronto."
Several violent altercations broke out between groups, resulting in police intervention. According to Toronto Police, no arrests were made yesterday.
2:40pm. PEGIDA prepares to march. With the sheer numbers of Antifa + Allies, they stop the march by sitting and chanting. pic.twitter.com/Wx8HJjS2Xn— du(ali)ty (@alijaveed_) March 23, 2019
Near the end of the rally, counter-protesters attempted to block the anti-Muslim protest from marching up the street by locking arms and sitting down on University Ave.
Unable to move forward, members of Pegida were eventually escorted by police into St. Patrick station.
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