A network of community members and organizations will hold a solidarity weekend from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 in Peterborough. The group says it’s committed to promoting love while ending white supremacy.
“Those who want to show that Peterborough is not a city of hate, but a city of inclusion and acceptance, should come out and stand up to hate,” said Charmaine Magumbe, an organizer of Solidarity Weekend.
The event features “Chalk Out Hate” on Friday at Peterborough Square, followed by what the group is calling “a day of creative resistance” on Saturday.
On Sunday, the weekend wraps up with a day of song and dance at Confederation Park.
Desmond Cole of Black Lives Matter Toronto and Dawn Lavell Harvard of Native Women’s Association of Canada are special guests at the event.
It’s in response to an anti-illegal immigration rally that’s planned for Saturday, Sept. 30 at Confederation Park by Kevin Goudreau, chair of the Canadian Nationalist Front.
“This is a peaceful rally. We’re going to have women and children there,” said Goudreau. “This is anti-Trudeau immigration policies. Against the temporary foreign worker programs.”
That rally drew criticism from some city councillors after it was given the green light by city staff.
Organizer is a neo-Nazi. neo-Nazi's don't rally in the spirit of peace = not a "peaceful demonstration", permit should've been denied. #ptbo
— Diane Therrien (@DianeNTherrien) September 26, 2017
Peterborough mayor Daryl Bennett released a statement:
“We must stand together against racism and hate. While our Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of expression, it also seeks to preserve and enhance our multicultural heritage. I trust that our law enforcement agencies will monitor and take action if any situations cross over to the promotion of hate or the advocacy of violence. The freedom of expression is not absolute.”
Solidarity Weekend organizers say they refuse to engage with the Canadian Nationalist Front. Their event, which happens during the same time, will be across the street at George Street United Church.
Goudreau estimates around 20 people, including women and children, will take part in his rally.
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