Black Lives Matter - Toronto Coalition

As I write this, Black Lives Matter - Toronto Coalition is on their ‎11th day of demonstration outside of the Toronto Police Service Headquarters. I am blown away and wildly impressed. I was able to join on the first evening and again last week, and was deeply inspired by the resilience of this group.

In support I am sharing their list of demands which they have delivered to Mayor John Tory and Police Chief Mark Saunders:

  • The immediate release of the name(s) of the officer(s) who killed Andrew Loku & Jermaine Carby
  • Charges to be laid against the officers who killed Mr. Loku
  • The immediate and public release of any video footage from the apartment complex where Andrew Loku was murdered
  • Apology to the family of Andrew Loku and monetary compensation
  • A review of the Special Investigations Unit, with adequate consultation from families victimized by police violence (Read more about this below)
  • A reversal to all city-mandated changes imposed on Afrofest, including its restoration to a 2-day festival (Read more about this below)

As of this week, city councillors Mike Layton, Kristyn Wong-Tam, and Gord Perks have drafted a motion to support the review of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). You can read the details of the motion at the link below, and you can sign a petition in support of the motion as well. http://mikelayton.to/petition-to-support-motion-to-make-police-services-investigations-fair-and-transparent

As for AfroFest… our voices were heard! The AfroFest Facebook page shared this message on March 28th, 2016:

“The City of Toronto, Department of Parks and Recreation and Music Africa reached an agreement on Wednesday March 23, 2016 which will see Afrofest maintain its 2 day format. Afrofest has the best supporters and patrons! Thanks to our collective voices and support, the world now realizes how important Afrofest is. Thanks to the ‪#‎Blacklivesmatter movement and all members with the community who wrote passionate letters to the Councilor and Mayor indicating just how important Afrofest is – Your voices have been heard! We will continue and present the best of African music and culture in Toronto. Do not miss this year’s festival – July 09 and 10, 2016.”

For more information on Black Lives Matter TO, check out the links below:

Black Lives Matter TO co-founder Sandy Hudson was interviewed by CTV News Channel, and did an amazing job explaining what BML-TO is trying to achieve and why. Check out the video here: https://www.facebook.com/CTVNewsChannel/videos/1070392793022051/?fref=nf

BLM Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blacklivesmatterTO/

BLM Twitter: https://twitter.com/BLM_TO