Toronto Anti-Fascists Respond to JDL Hosting PEGIDA-UK

(Photo Toronto Media Co-op)

Fascism makes strange bedfellows. On Thursday, March 10th 2016, the fascist Jewish Defense League hosted Paul Weston of the white supremacist, anti-immigrant PEGIDA-UK and Islamophobic Danish hatemonger Lars Hedegaard at the Toronto Zionist Centre at 788 Marlee Avenue for a speaking event called “The Threat of Radical Islamic Immigration and the Erosion of our Freedoms”. As in Montréal the evening prior, a number of local anti-fascists, including members of the Revolutionary Communist Party Organizing Committee–Toronto and the Revolutionary Student Movement, gathered in order to shut down the event. While it is not entirely clear if the Toronto event was decisively shut down as it was in Montréal due to differing circumstances (the Montreal event was to be held in a restaurant until the venue cancelled the event due to pressure from our comrades there, whereas the Toronto event was taking place at the JDL’s home base), the blockade of the Toronto Zionist Centre’s driveway was successful in sufficiently disrupting the event by preventing visitors from attending, thus leaving the event’s possible attendance to JDL and PEGIDA membership already at the Toronto Zionist Centre and perhaps a handful of other attendees.

The police, as usual, were present and were working to protect the fascists, who were recording and photographing the counter demonstration. Despite the cops’ demands to clear the way, despite their shoving, and despite their attempts to intimidate us with their mounted officers—and despite the suggestion from within our ranks that we be conciliatory and relinquish our hold on the Toronto Zionist Centre driveway—we stood our ground, and together we were able to show how the JDL and even the police can be paper tigers. We congratulate our comrades in Montréal on their success in shutting down PEGIDA in their city, we thank our friends at PEGIDA Watch Canada for organizing the counter-demonstration in Toronto, and we thank our fellow anti-fascists for holding the correct line of not accommodating the police. DARE TO STRUGGLE, DARE TO WIN! NO QUARTER FOR FASCISTS!

Co-signed by members of the Revolutionary Communist Party Organizing Committee–Toronto and the Revolutionary Student Movement.