The stretch of College Street in front of Toronto Police Headquarters has been painted with the words “Defund the Police” ahead of a Juneteenth anti-racism rally planned today.
Juneteenth — June 19 — honours the day of the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.
Advocates from Not Another Black Life have organized a sit-in that’s scheduled to take place from noon until 6 pm, beginning at College and Bay Streets and ending at City Hall.
The event is described as a peaceful sit-in, in celebration of freedom and liberation, “with demands to defund the Toronto police to abolishing the police.”
Organizers encourage attendees to bring food, water, sunscreen, and energy, and they say that participants will be practicing social distancing. Masks are requested, and anyone who is sick should stay home.
Toronto police say they are aware of the demonstration.
“Everyone has the lawful right to peacefully protest,” law enforcement posted to Twitter Friday morning.
– We are aware of a demonstration planned in the downtown core today.
– Everyone has the lawful right to peacefully protest.
– College St is closed from Yonge Street to Bay Street#PeacefulProtest #Toronto #Canada #GO1126550
— Toronto Police Operations (@TPSOperations) June 19, 2020
Black Lives Matter Toronto shared a video of individuals painting the street with the message to defund the police early Friday.
BLMTO Juneteenth Demonstration – Using our voices through Art. https://t.co/s7Pv7PhJoE
— Black Lives Matter — Toronto (@BLM_TO) June 19, 2020
Also painted on the street are the names of victims of alleged police violence.
This section of the road reads, “In Canada since March,” followed by the names “D’Andre Campbell, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Eisha Hudson, Jason Collins, Stewart Kevin, Andrews Everett, Patrick Amleset Haile, Abraham Natanine, Chantel Moore, Rodney Levi, and Jermaine Carby,” a source on scene tells Daily Hive.