Black Lives Matter activists surround police headquarters
Dario Balca, CTV Toronto
Published Saturday, March 26, 2016 6:55PM EDT
Hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists surrounded Toronto police headquarters Saturday to protest what they call racially biased policing in the city.
Their “Blackout Against Police Brutality” demonstration began at approximately 4 p.m. and shows no signs of slowing down.
“We’re going to be here for as long as the community wants to be here,” said Alexandria Williams, co-founder of Black Live Matters’ Toronto branch. “The purpose of this is to make sure that we have intersections of different communities coming together to work to work in solidarity to combat anti-blackness.”
The rally included advocates for other groups including indigenous people.
Demonstrators first set up camp outside the building last Sunday, just days after Ontario’s police watchdog cleared a Toronto police officer of any wrongdoing in the shooting of 45-year-old Andrew Loku. The man was killed during a confrontation last July at an apartment building in the area of Caledonia Road and Eglinton Avenue.
On Saturday, organizers hoped to amplify their message with a call to action.
“I think it’s more of a rejuvenation of what we created here,” Williams said. “What we created was a loving community, a place where people could come share and create and enjoy themselves and actually feel safe within their blackness.”
The demonstration became so large police were forced to close down College Street between Yonge and Bay Streets.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Ben Mercer