Community to Protest Racist Violence in Toronto’s East End

TORONTO, 3 July 2020 – The Toronto East community, supported by anti-racism activists and national labour leaders, is holding a rally on Monday, July 6, at noon at the local police station to protest recent racist violence.

WHAT: Say No To Racist Violence: Community Protest.

WHEN: Monday, July 6, 2020, 12 noon.

WHERE: Toronto Police, 55 Division, 101 Coxwell Ave. (Coxwell and Dundas), Toronto.

WHO: Organized by the United Steelworkers Toronto Area Council, the Black Action Defence Committee, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Toronto East Anti-Hate Mobilization.

On the morning of Thursday, June 25, Toronto east-end residents Mark Austin and Candace Zinkweg were victims of a brutal racist assault as they walked their dog in Dentonia Park.

Candace was pushed to the ground and then kicked in the head by a white assailant. She was knocked unconscious and taken by ambulance to hospital, where she was diagnosed with a concussion.

Mark, who is Black, and Recording Secretary of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1998, also was violently assaulted and subjected to racist abuse by the same assailant. The assailant made repeated death threats to Mark, including saying he would shoot Mark the next time he sees him. 

The police have not laid any charges though the assailant is known to them, saying it is a matter of ‘he said, she said.’ It came to light that the assailant lives in the same apartment complex as the victims.

“We recognize this is not occurring in isolation. There is a growing climate of racist brutality around the globe and systemic racism in our communities and our institutions,” said Carolyn Egan, President of the Steelworkers Toronto Area Council and one of the protest’s organizers.

“We are demanding that the Toronto Police immediately lay charges against the assailant,” said Egan.

“Police across Canada are more than willing to lock up Black lives but when the same Black life needs justice it’s an uphill battle,” said Mark Brown, an executive board member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Canadian chapter.

“Until the Black life is valued as much as the non-Black life, there will be no justice and there can be no peace,” Brown said.

Labour leaders, including USW National Director Ken Neumann and USW Ontario Director Marty Warren, will be part of Monday’s demonstration.

“We won’t tolerate members of our community being attacked in this way. There is no place for racist violence in Toronto,” Neumann said.

“It is our collective responsibility to take on racism and violence against Black, Indigenous and people of colour,” said Warren. “Authorities must aggressively investigate and prosecute perpetrators of racially motivated violence in our communities.”


For further information:

Mark Brown, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Canadian chapter, 416-688-7671, mbrowncupw@gmail.com
Carolyn Egan, Steelworkers Toronto Area Council, 416-806-7985, c.egan@sympatico.ca

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