Dozens of demonstrators gathered in downtown Toronto Monday morning to stand in solidarity with victims of the weekend violence in Virginia that killed one woman and injured 19 people.
People held signs and chanted phrases decrying racism as they stood opposite the American consulate to express their opposition to white supremacists.
“No hate, no fear. Fascists aren’t welcomed here,” members of the group chanted at one point.
On Saturday, a car plowed through a group of people as they were protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested shortly after and charged with second-degree murder and other counts.
At Monday’s rally in Toronto, Donna Gabaccia, an American professor at the University of Toronto who helped organize the event, said she was “appalled” by the weekend gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville.
“I was not surprised that violence and death was the outcome,” she said. “I felt that as a U.S. citizen and white person, I need to speak out against racism (and) bigotry, and I’m here in Toronto. The consulate is the most public face of the U.S.”
Jesse-Blue Forrest, who lives in Toronto but is from a community near Charlottesville, said he came out to the rally to let people know that violence is not the norm in the American city. At the same time, this past weekend’s events didn’t just happen spontaneously, he said.
“It’s been brewing for a long time,” Forrest said. “I really do not want to see that cancer in the United States spreading here in Canada.”
A vigil was held in Toronto Sunday night to remember the victims of Saturday’s violence. A rally was also held in Montreal according to social media and local media reports.