A rally that was planned by several far-right, nationalist and anti-Muslim groups and set to be held on Saturday in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto has been postponed.
The event alarmed many anti-racist and Jewish groups, as well as Toronto Mayor John Tory. It was to take place on the first anniversary of the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Va., which culminated in the murder of a counter-protester.
The rally’s main organizer, the Calgary-based Worldwide Coalition Against Islam (WCAI), announced on its Facebook page on Aug. 9 that several conflicts led to the decision to postpone.
“Due to people being snowflakes about the August 11th date coincidentally being on the same day as Charlottesville last year and groups pulling out and there being a Bollywood festival scheduled at Nathan Phillips Square, I have decided to postpone this rally,” an organizer wrote.
“I want the first ever WCAI rally to be a big event with everyone on the same page but people can’t stop bashing each other and sabotaging our event and I’m not gonna waste my time and money flying out there for this bull—t. When people get their s–t together and put their differences aside then and only then will I make the trip out.”
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network, which monitors and exposes racist groups, said the pressure of a planned counter-demonstration and “far-right infighting” was responsible for the postponement, and it called the development “a victory for anti-racists in Toronto.”
There was no immediate reaction to the postponement from Jewish groups.
On Aug. 8, Meir Weinstein, the director of the Jewish Defence League of Canada (JDL), noted the following on Facebook:
“This Saturday, a group WCAI is planning a rally to commemorate Charlottesville. Last year in Charlottesville, a group of White Supremacist lead a torchlight rally and chanted ‘Jews will not replace us.’ That torchlight rally and anti-Semitism must be condemned and should never be tolerated in Toronto. Patriotic Canadians must stand united against such hate.”
The next day, WCAI leader Joey De Luca slammed Weinstein on Facebook, saying that the JDL leader had “ruined” the rally with his “bulls–t slander.”
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network had said that rally organizers were hoping for 200 people to attend, including “the most physically aggressive far-right groups, like the Soldiers of Odin, Proud Boys and the Northern Guard.”
The rally got the attention of Tory, who told The CJN on Aug. 8 that it was “unpermitted. It shouldn’t be permitted and won’t be permitted by the city. There is no place for anti-hate rallies of any kind, directed at any group in Toronto. It’s just not acceptable.”
More to come …