**The following is a solidarity statement adapted from the Tamil Freedom Coalition Statement of Solidarity with BLMTO.
The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity stands in solidarity and friendship with Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO).
Black Lives Matter Toronto is coalition of Black community members, students, artists, organizers, activists, and everything in between. They work work in solidarity with black communities seeking justice from state-sanctioned violence, including but not limited to: police violence, state policies, community issues, etc.
Black Lives Matter is a movement created in 2012 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. They describe it as a movement and not a moment. “Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our de-humanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society.” We adopt this language because to us, the need to acknowledge black lives is global. State-sanctioned violence against black lives is a global phenomenon. Anti-blackness is a global phenomenon. Pervasive anti-black racism is a global phenomenon.
We at the Centre are proud to share a vision and passion rooted in similar social justice practices. Please read more about our values here.
We join BLMTO, and echo their demands:
- The immediate release of the name(s) of the officer(s) who killed Andrew Loku and charges to be laid accordingly.
- The immediate release of the name(s) of the officer who killed Alex Wettlaufer, and charges to be laid accordingly.
- The immediate and public release of any video footage from the apartment complex where Andrew Loku was murdered.
- The adoption of the African Canadian Legal Clinic’s demand for a coroner’s inquest into the death of Andrew Loku.
- A condemnation of Toronto Police’s excessive use of force and ongoing intimidation tactics against Black Lives Matter Toronto protesters.
- An overhaul of the province’s Special Investigations Unit, in consultation with families of victims of Police violence, the Black and Indigenous communities, and the community at large.
- A commitment to the full elimination of carding, including: the deletion of all previously recorded data, reframing of regulations to prohibitions, consistent implementation policy amongst different police boards, and concrete disciplinary measures for officers who continue to card.
Also, following the vandalization of Ottawa’ mural for murdered trans women of colour, we will be honouring local queer & trans people of colour at our annual Gala on April 13, 2016 in Ottawa. Join us by RSVPing here.