Saturday Protests, Nathan Phillips Sq. March 04 2017

A protest took place on Saturday, on the east side of the square.1-dsc_05211-dsc_07811-dsc_0583 Billed as pro free speech and against the new bill M 103 it didn’t take long to realize that a lot of what was said contained racist half truths and fear mongering. Sounding very much like the anti-communist McCarthy era we were warned that Islam is here to take over Canada, they could be hiding in your closet, as we speak.1-dsc_04821-dsc_04861-dsc_0493 At the same time a much larger group was gathering on the west side of the square. This group promoting an inclusive Canada. A place where all are welcome. Mistrust and division versus love and inclusion.1-imgp72121-dsc_06681-dsc_0598 While things went mostly peacefully Toronto Police Services had their hands full maintaining a barrier between the two groups both on foot and on horseback.1-dsc_05011-dsc_05461-dsc_0558 Three arrests were also made by police, two of obstruction and one of assault. While many things were yelled in rage, cooler heads prevailed.1-imgp71531-dsc_06181-dsc_0804 The power of the message felt, when the smaller group disbanded they were led out under protection of police. In recent times incidents of hate crimes against the muslin community are on the rise. 1-dsc_06991-dsc_0592-0011-dsc_0608This woman’s reminder of the chilling mass murder recently in Quebec should hit home to us all. Nearing the end of the rally I sat on the side of the skating rink and chatted with another photographer. He asked me what draws me to these events and my only answer was to point to the mass of people and say, “Them”. People willing to get out in numbers, on a cold Saturday, just to make sure that the people in attendance and the media know that most of us Canadians believe in an inclusive society.1-dsc_06781-imgp71531-dsc_0730 One built on peace love and understanding,

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