ukraine march toronto

A tractor led an actual Toronto freedom protest this weekend

The sound of a tractor and throngs of protestors marching through the heart of Toronto may have had some residents sighing at yet another anti-mandate protest, but this time it wasn't the farmers, truckers, far right demonstrators or anyone else likely to have rusting auto parts on their property.

This time the people were out rallying behind a tractor in support of Ukraine, democracy, and dare I say…freedom?

In a much more fitting description of the term 'freedom rally,' hundreds poured into the city centre on Sunday for the Stand With Ukraine march. Masses rallied at Yonge and Bloor around 2 p.m. to protest the unprovoked Russian war on Ukraine before marching to Nathan Phillips Square.

The protest was led by a tractor with a Ukrainian flag mounted to its bumper. Unlike the tractors that appeared in the city earlier this year to protest public health mandates, this tractor is a fitting symbol of the farmers in Ukraine fighting for their actual freedom.

Since the war began in late February, farmers have been recorded hauling away captured Russian armoured vehicles, earning folk hero status in the warzone and abroad by using their farming equipment to aid the Ukrainian war effort.

The protest comes amid grisly discoveries from newly-liberated towns as Russians withdraw from the northern front (only to concentrate efforts elsewhere), including mounting evidence of war crimes committed in the town of Bucha during the Russian occupation.

The still-emerging details of the so-called Bucha Massacre have been met with condemnation from the international community, including Canada, and denial from the Kremlin.

And while the horrors of Russian aggression may be occurring half a world away, Canada is home to the second-largest population of Ukrainian diaspora after Russia, and the anger over Putin's so-called "special military operation" is palpable right here in Toronto.

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