Pro-Palestine demonstrators clashed with pro-Israel supporters at Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square during an event calling to "commemorate the 73rd year of the Palestinian catastrophe and on-going ethnic cleansing of Palestine."
Organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement, it was stressed that "No anti-Semitism will be tolerated at the event," and that their movement is "not anti-Jewish, it is anti-Zionist." They also requested people not bring Canada flags as they believe Canada is a "settler colonial state" which "does not support the Palestinian cause."
A counter-protest, organised by the Jewish Defense League and attended by several others in solidarity with Israel, was separated from the Palestinian protestors by a heavy police presence.
The pro-Palestine protestors, surrounding the counter-protestors on all sides, soon began throwing water bottles, eggs, and other objects at the much smaller group. They shouted "shame on you!" as the counter-protestors urged their group to not fight back, although at least one water bottle was sent back into the larger crowd.
The pro-Palestine protestors cheered and continued to throw objects as the counter-protestors were escorted out by police. Several fights broke out between the two groups and with the officers who attempted to keep the two groups separate. At least 3 counter-protestors were injured, with one elderly Jewish man having been brutally assaulted.
Mounted police officers were brought in for crowd control, and least two arrests were made, one of which for assault. One protestor demanded to know why the police were arresting Palestinians and not the "f*cking Israelis."
After the main event dispersed, groups of protestors marched or drove through the downtown core for hours, chanting "Free free Palestine, occupation is a crime."
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