TO: MEDIA, THE CHINESE COMMUNITY IN TORONTO, AND ALL TORONTONIANS
Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO)
Solidarity Statement with Black Lives Matter Toronto
On Sunday, July 3rd, 2016, as Pride Toronto’s honorary guest, Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO) conducted a peaceful protest by hosting a sit-in during the Pride Parade, where a number of demands were made to Pride Toronto. As an organization that seeks to promote social justice in Toronto, CCNCTO is in full support of BLMTO’s peaceful sit-in and listed demands.
The demands given to Pride Toronto respond to the continued marginalization of the Black queer community; these include their exclusion from decision making, insufficient funding provisions, and increased police presence at the event. Mathieu Chantelois, Executive Director of Pride Toronto, signed off and thus agreed to BLMTO’s demands. We at CCNCTO, together with many organizations and community members, hold Pride Toronto accountable to this agreement, to ensure that all of BLMTO’s demands are met.
It is important to remember that Pride Toronto began as a grassroots movement organized by the LGBTQ community, including racialized community members, against the police raids of bath houses and police brutality experienced by the LGBTQ community. Pride Toronto today is possible because of these self-organizing communities. The LGBTQ community in Toronto is diverse and includes racialized community members and it is Pride Toronto’s responsibility to ensure that the event is accessible for the most marginalized.
The ongoing police violence experienced by the Black community, especially the Black queer and trans community, needs to be addressed. From the deaths of Jermaine Carby, Andrew Loku, and Sammy Yatim, to the unnecessary force that was imposed on March 21st, 2016 towards the peaceful occupation of the TPS headquarters, organized by BLMTO, where children, young women and men, trans people, and disabled people were present, As Chinese Canadians, we cannot remain silent and complicit in anti-Black injustices. Racial injustice against any group is harmful to the entire Canadian society. We encourage the Chinese Canadian community, as a large community who has a long history with racial injustice and discrimination in Canada, to unite and stand in solidarity against anti-Black injustices. Join CCNCTO in holding Pride Toronto accountable in their agreement to the following demands listed by BLMTO:
Continued space, including stage and tents, funding and logistical support for Black Queer Youth.
Self-determination for all community spaces at Pride, allowing community groups full control over hiring, content and structure of their stages.
Full and adequate funding for community stages, including logistical, technical and personnel support.
Doubling of funding for Blockorama to $13,000.
Reinstatement of the South Asian stage.
Prioritizing of the hiring of Black transwomen, Indigenous people and others from vulnerable communities at Pride Toronto.
Increase financial and policy commitment to hiring Black Deaf and hearing sign language interpreters throughout the festival.
Removal of police floats in the Pride marches and parades.
A town hall organized in conjunction with groups from marginalized communities, including but not limited to Black Lives Matter – Toronto, Blackness Yes and Black Queer Youth, in six months, where Pride Toronto will present an update and action plan on BLM-TO’s demands.
CCNCTO urges members of the Chinese community to make their voices heard on continued issues of racism in Toronto with the following:
1. Contact (Email, Call, Tweet) your city councillor before Tuesday July 12th, 2016 to express your support for the most marginalized groups within the LGBTQ community
2. Participate in the public meeting organized by the Anti-racism Directorate (Government of Ontario) on Thursday, July 14th, 2016 at Daniels Spectrum.
Chase Lo (firstname.lastname@example.org | 416.596.0833 ext 1)
Executive Director, CCNCTO
Alvis Choi (email@example.com | 416.902.6226)
Chairperson; Head of Advocacy Committee, CCNCTO