The No Pride in Policing Coalition (NPPC), a group of queer and trans people dedicated to supporting the recent demands of Black Lives Matter Toronto, will be holding a teach-in on defunding and abolishing the police on Sunday, June 28 in Nathan Phillips Square.
“Join us to demand an immediate 50 per cent cut to the Toronto Police Services budget as a first step towards abolishing the police,” reads the event description. “Pride is a protest. We will not rest until all are free!”
Their hope is for those funds to be reinvested into Black, Indigenous, racialized, impoverished, and other targeted communities. Other BLM-TO demands include disarming officers, removing them from schools and better documentation of police violence.
Such demands and questions about police accountability picked up steam in May after the police killing of Minneapolis’s George Floyd and the police-involved death of Toronto’s Regis Korchinski-Paquet, sparking protests around the world.
Canada currently spends $15.1 billion a year on police services. In Toronto, taxpayers spend $6.3 million per day on policing, which is over 25 per cent of taxpayer dollars.
NPPC intends to continue to spread the word and rally around the cause. The event will feature a series of speakers, including journalist and activist Desmond Cole, anti-capitalist educator Beverly Bain and community activist Zoë Dodd.
The NPPC is sharing the Square with Afro-Indigenous Rising (AIR) who have been occupying the space since June 19, aka Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.
Co-sponsors of the event include Black Lives Matter-Toronto, Blockorama & Blackness YES, Showing Up for Racial Justice Toronto, No More Silence, Toronto Overdose Prevention Society, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Queer Ontario, Workers’ Action Centre and the Latinx, Afro-Latin-America, Abya Yala Education Network.
Those who are experiencing any kind of symptoms are encouraged to stay home and stream the event online, details of which will be released soon on the event page.
Attendees should bring face masks, water, sunscreen and snacks, and be sure to practise social distancing.
Volunteers are needed and can apply to be involved here.