ontario education rally

Here are the best protest signs from this weekend's massive education rally in Toronto

Thousands upon thousands of teachers, students and advocates flocked to Queen's Park in Toronto this weekend to let Ontario Premier Doug Ford know exactly how they feel about his proposed cuts to the provincial education system.

Organized by five different teachers' unions, the rally saw an estimated 10,000 protesters from all across the province arrive on more than 170 buses to make their voices heard.

What do they want? To see the PC government reverse its decision to increase class sizes, make e-learning mandatory and cut some 3,475 full time teaching positions, among other things.

When do they want it? Now, before the cuts irreparably hurt Ontario's young people, school system and economy.

The sheer number of bodies gathered outside the legislature on Saturday was enough to send a powerful message to Ford and his cabinet members.

Whether or not they get the message remains to be seen, but there's no misinterpreting what could be seen on hundreds of creative, hand-made signs.

"Cuts hurt kids" was their rallying cry, but many at the protest made signs that took aim at Ford himself for such things as dropping out of college...

For apparently prioritizing cheap booze over education...

And for allegedly pooping in his pants (though there have been no reports, to date, of this actually happening).

They also compared the Premier to U.S. President Donald Trump...

A large baby...

Avengers bad guy Thanos...

A worm...

Lord Voldemort...

And a "thug."

Education Minister Lisa Thompson, who recently blamed teachers for a youth-organized protest that saw an estimated 100,000 elementary and high school students walk out of their classrooms on Thursday, also proved popular as a muse.

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario president Sam Hammond said to The Star last week that Thompson's comments may have actually encouraged more people to attend Saturday's rally.

"I think the rhetoric backfired," he said. "It just spurred people on."

Parents and children of all ages were well represented at the rally in Queen's Park.

Dogs, too, got in on the fun.

And, some protesters took the opportunity to double up with their messages, shading Ford's plan to change Ontario's license plates at the same time.

... Among other changes.

While many of the signs were snarky, some focused more on the impacts that cuts to education can have.

I'm really just scratching the surface here, too. You can find more excellent protest signs and footage from this week's demonstration on the Instagram hashtags #CutsHurtKids and #RallyForEducation. They're great.

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