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Toronto rally against far-right extremism found in fringe leaders of Freedom Convoy

As the "Freedom convoy" slowly gets dismantled in Ottawa and the frightening fringe elements come to light, a group of Toronto residents will rally against far-right extremism this weekend.

Evidence of the far-right element of the so-called peaceful protest was found early on with Nazi flags, leaders such as Pat King expressing hate online, and an extremists group's plan to kill police officers in Coutts, Alberta.

Inspired by the counter-protesters in Ottawa, a group called Community Solidarity TO has planned a non-confrontational rally and march beginning at Toronto City Hall on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 1 pm.

"We are speaking out against far-right fringe leaders of the convoy who have manipulated COVID anxieties, concerns and hardships to create deeply troubling divisions in society," a press release from the group reads.

The group is a coalition of progressive Toronto labour, anti-racist and social organizations including Urban Alliance on Race Relations - UARR, Toronto & York Region Labour Council and Matt Dusenbury.

"The coalition list is growing," spokesperson Susan McMurray tells blogTO

The group says they "are inspired by, and take our name from Community Solidarity Ottawa that took to the streets February 13 to stop trucks coming to reinforce the occupation of several neighbourhoods in Ottawa."

People in Ottawa have been subjected to almost three weeks of racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and homophobic harassment, bullying and intimidation, the coalition says.

They have had to live with the noise and toxic fumes of diesel engines and at times the blaring of truck horns — and people in Ottawa are long past tired of it.

Community Solidarity wants to ensure that this does not happen in the streets and neighbourhoods of Toronto.

While it is still unclear when the occupation of Ottawa will end and under what circumstances, they want to gather and support Ottawa residents regardless of what happens.

"We will gather in support of Ottawa residents who are fighting to keep their neighbourhoods safe and to oppose the racism, anti-Semitism misogyny and homophobic bullying to which they have been subjected to, and ensure Toronto neighbourhoods, residents and workers remain safe from extremism," the coalition says.

Lead photo by

Karen Longwell

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