TORONTO, ON – Toronto City Councillor James Pasternak, is deeply shocked and disturbed by reports of acts of violence against members of the Jewish community, who came in small numbers to counter protest at a mass anti-Israel event attended by over 5000 people at Nathan Phillips Square yesterday.
“Not only was this event an egregious violation of the stay-at-home order and a blatant disregard towards ongoing efforts by frontline healthcare workers to put this pandemic behind us, it is disturbing to learn of the hate speech, anti-Semitic attacks, and incidents of physical violence perpetrated by individuals at the anti-Israel rally. Hate and bigotry have no place in our society, and these kinds of gatherings are an affront to everybody. They’re not in keeping with the City of Toronto anti-discrimination and anti-Hate Rally polices, strain police resources and cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Councillor Pasternak thanks Toronto Police Services for laying charges against three persons and anticipates more charges.
“Violence and hatred have no place in our city, and will not be tolerated. I thank Toronto Police Service for the laying of charges and for a full investigation into the violent attacks against counter protesters,” says Councillor Pasternak.
Prior to the rally Councillor Pasternak urged the province to make a strong statement against the illegal gathering. He issued following statement last week.
“An event of this nature will send the wrong message that mass gatherings are acceptable, that legislation doesn’t matter and that putting the pandemic behind us is not a priority. Because I understand that people are coming from across Ontario to Toronto I am calling on Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and Premier Doug Ford to issue a strong statement for the organizers of this rally to stay at home,” says Councillor Pasternak.
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