Public Statement: Countering Hate on September 28, 2019
Throughout the past year, there have been several incidents in the village that raise concerns about the presence of hateful and targeted actions and rhetoric towards the LGBTQ2S community. This has included hateful graffiti, hate mail targeting some of our local businesses, homophobic and transphobic violence, and several incidents where street preachers have come into the Church-Wellesley Village to spew anti-queer and -trans rhetoric.
Targeted homophobic and transphobic attacks on our communities by individuals and groups is not a new phenomenon for our communities and our neighbourhood. The religious right has become adept at furthering their hateful agenda, often hiding behind the rhetoric of love to soften the edges of an agenda that has not changed.
From calling the rights of LGBTQ2S people “special,” proposing government policies that deny the existence of trans and non-binary people, to opposing safe and inclusive sex education, these individuals and groups seek to further marginalize, shame, and target LGBTQ2S communities in ways that have real and painful consequences. These tactics all come from the same playbook that is being used in countries around the world.
On September 28, 2019, a group of self-proclaimed ‘persecuted Christians’ will be rallying at Church and Esplanade and plan to march to Church and Davenport right through the Village. Under the banner “Christian Positive Space” they will be joined by a contingent of known white nationalist and Islamophobic groups for their hate parade.
The 519 stands opposed to this rally and to the measurable increase in targeted hate and violence against queer and trans people. Building a strong, collective, intersectional, and brave response to hate, in all of its forms, must be at the core of the work we do – individually and together.
The 519 will be focusing the safety of our communities both during and after this rally, including working with the local community, other organizations, and local businesses to be vigilant around the potential for targeted hate and violence.
The folks at Toronto Against Fascism are mobilizing with interfaith groups, labour unions, and the community at large for a rally they are calling Stonewall Hate.
LGBTQ2S and allies within inter-faith communities are also organizing a response for September 28 in the Village.
Join The 519’s Army of Lovers and other community activists and groups and help us stand up for our communities. We will exercise our right to protest this blatant gathering of hate.
Where to meet:
- Meet at the 519 [519 Church St.] at 10:45am and travel down to the lawn of St. James Cathedral, at the North-East corner of Church and King Streets in a group.
- Meet at the lawn of St. James Cathedral at 11:30am.
More details on our Facebook Event page.
** We do not know exactly when the hateful group will begin their march, so be prepared to wait with us to defend our neighbourhoods and communities. **
We will be running protest workshops at The 519 [519 Church St.] on:
- Thursday, September 26, from 5:30-6:30pm and
- Saturday, September 28, from 9:30-10:30am
This workshop will include information on your rights and considerations on how to keep safe while (counter) protesting.
If you want to help with banner and poster making, please join us at The 519 [519 Church St.] on:
- Thursday, September 26, from 4:00-5:30pm
- Friday, September 27, from 4:00-8:00pm
More details on our Facebook page.
If you want to help with event logistics, banner making, or postering, or you would like to be involved in our organizing efforts, want to support this work moving forward, or are interested in volunteering or donating to help sustain this work, please contact avi@The519.org