Calls to defund Toronto police amplified by demonstrators Saturday

WATCH: Protests continued Saturday in Toronto calling for the defunding of the Toronto Police Service. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement would like to see city council support Coun. Josh Matlow’s motion for the reallocation of 10 per cent of the budget. Morganne Campbell has more.

Calls to defund the Toronto Police Service (TPS) continued Saturday as demonstrators gathered at Nathan Phillips Square calling on city council to support a motion that would see the TPS budget cut by 10 per cent.

Demonstrators want that money redirected to community resource aid in marginalized communities.

“A lot of us come from immigrant communities and when you start out in an immigrant community, a lot of people live in government-funded housing, neighbourhoods like Regent Park that are poor and they don’t have these outreach programs,” said protest organizer Felicia Tema, a member of Black Love T.O.

“They don’t have a lot of things that they need to diminish crimes … succeed in life.”

“We need to reinvest that money into the community so that everybody is able to succeed.”

Last week, Toronto Coun. Josh Matlow put forward a motion asking for the re-direction of those funds which equate to about $122 million.

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“We’re here to stand by Josh Matlow and we’re here to just make a difference here in Toronto,” said demonstrator Kayla Kif.

“I think that time has passed and I think its time to take a step forward and really try to make change here.”

Similar rallies in support of the Black Lives Matter movement happened in elsewhere in Ontario, including Ottawa and London, as well as in Richmond B.C., Saturday.

“It shows that we have unity among the world,” said demonstrator Shara Ttee.

“There’s other people around the world also facing oppression and revolutions are essential for change to happen.”

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Demonstrators in Toronto marched to the U.S. Consulate where they took a knee in support of the movement and their American counterparts. Participants proceeded on to Yonge-Dundas Square and then to Queen’s Park.

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