Last July an officer in the Toronto Police Service shot and killed 44-year-old South Sudanese immigrant Andrew Loku inside of his apartment building. A few days later a group of anti-cop protestors organized a protest under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter Toronto. The protesters gathered and blocked the intersection of Allen Road at Eglinton Avenue interrupting the journies of 100’s of Torontonians driving and using public transit.
BLMT used the blockade as a way to get extra attention for their group, demanding that the officer who shot Loku faced criminal charges. It was long before any of the details were known about the shooting, but facts were less important to the group then public attention. A survey conducted after the protest indicates a higher percentage of Torontonians learned about BLMT that day than about Andrew Loku.
Loku was only 2 meters away from the officer, charging at him with a hammer and yelling out “What you gonna do, come on, shoot me”.On Friday Ontario’s police watchdog Special Investigations Unit determined that the officer didn’t do anything wrong. BLMT has responded as their petulant selves, announcing a protest starting at 6pm in front of City Hall at Nathan Phillips Hall. The protest is being promoted by the usual gang including a violent convicted G20 organizer, an ethically challenged Toronto Star/Canadaland/Newstalk 1010 contributor, and a member of the Toronto Police Board.
One of the earliest mentions of today’s protest came from Alex Hundert, a man convicted and sentenced to 17 months in prison for his part organizing the violence during the 2010 G20- and counseling Ontario youth to commit the violent crime of de-arresting people from police custody. Hundert was arrested with his then girlfriend Leah Henderson, she was sentenced to over a year in prison after telling the judge she “doesn’t believe” in the validity of Canada’s legal system.
Despite the fact she’s never publicly apologized, Henderson was later rewarded with a job as city councilor Shelley Carroll’s assistant. Despite several attempts asking for comment, Carroll has yet to have publicly explained her decision to hire an unrepentant ex-con. Henderson has been organizing with and conducting fundraising activities for BLMT. She reported herself being “so fucking proud” of last year’s roadblock.
A couple of hours after Alex Hundert’s tweet BLMT ally Desmond Cole sent out a tweet promoting the event. The ad was quickly re-tweeted by Shelley Carroll; city councilor for ward 33, board member with the TTC (who’ve been blocked by BLMT many times in the past), and member of the Toronto Police Services Board.
Black Lives Matter Toronto are a motley crew led by professional protesters linked to anti-police clashes and protests from the G20 to the annual May Day parades. BLM Toronto protests are known for their anti-police leanings, one of their organizers was caught cheering on New York cop shootings, it’s not unusual to hear people yelling out rhetoric like “kill the pussy fucking police!”. Last year one of their participants came to a march wearing a jacket with a painted with the words “I am the death of the palefaces!”.
It’s way beyond astounding that Carroll would think it was an appropriate action to re-tweet and promote this event. Beyond the obvious that a woman in her position shouldn’t be promoting militant anti-police marches led by hate groups, isn’t she also making a very serious statement about the legitimacy of the SIU?
And what about Carroll’s legitimacy? Considering she’s both a police board and how she employs a BLMT organizer, does she not have a giant conflict of interest here?
Stay tuned after 6pm EST for live reports from tonight’s protest. Shelley Carroll has already been asked for comment on this conflict of interest situation, if she doesn’t respond by tonight’s protest I might be lucky enough to find here there. Follow me on Twitter @Grenouf as I live tweet tonight’s event. If by some chance we see violence like at the Sammy Yatim protests (led by the same labour backed AstroTurfers) I might be tempted to livestream using Periscope. It could be an interesting evening tonight.