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Protestors gathered in Toronto today to continue protesting for the Black Lives Matter demand of police defunding, and in honour of Juneteenth.
Using a megaphone, a young woman tells police to quit their jobs. While this is a protest regarding racial injustice, the police who stand idly by appear to be representative of the diverse population of Canada.
"Nothing has changed," she shouts. "How do you defend that? How are you proud of yourself when you put on your uniform?"
"How do you sleep at night knowing your entire institution was created to defend slavery?"
"From South America to North America, slavery. To defend the residential school system. Disgusting. To defend the Sixties Scoop. To uphold the Indian opps."
"Shame!" She yells.
"To defend policing black bodies! To defend carting in Toronto! Why do you choose to be a cop? Shame!"
"There is no reason you should choose lethal force, there is no reason why you should carry a gun to do your job."
In Toronto thus far in 2020, there has been one fatal shooting by police. In 2017, 2018, 2019, there were no police killings in Toronto. In Canada, between 2017-2020, there were 36 police killings. This is a comparatively tiny number compared to our neighbours to the south.
"There are so many other ways to help society. Pick up a f***ing book! Sign up for a f***ing book club! Learn why we're here right now! Do your jobs better!"
"But that's not possible, is it! Is that even possible, No. Because especially the guy in the back doesn't look like he can read."
"How are you smirking here today at a black woman who is fighting to protect her people? These are black women, trans women, queer women!"
She goes on to say that "We're finally standing up for ourselves! We're finally realizing that we don't need you to protect us because you fail every single time!"
"That is gaslighting! You are gaslighting us! There is no reason for you to say that there have been riots in Toronto when there has not been a single one!"
"We deserve to be angry! If we wanted to riot we deserve to! We are choosing not to though, because we want to protect each other from you!"
"Because we know, the second we begin to do that, that you will kill us. You will teat gas us. You will brutalize us. Because that's what a cop does."
The crowd chanted "Quit your fucking jobs!"
Protests have been going on to defund the police and to demand racial justice since shortly after the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.
Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 that many of those who were freed from enslavement in Texas by Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation came to realize that this was so, nearly two years after the speech was made.