The Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) stands in full solidarity with the ongoing actions of Black Lives Matter-Toronto and the struggle against racist policing and anti-Black racism in Ontario.
We salute the recent victories that were a result of a Black Lives Matter-Toronto’s March 19th-April 4th Tent City outside Police Headquarters in downtown Toronto. This bold and necessary action resulted in the reinstatement of the full length of Afrofest, which was previously cut in length due to anti-Black racism, and some commitments from Toronto City Hall and the Premier to review the Special Investigation Unit which is supposed to investigate murders, sexual assaults, and assault resulting in serious injuries perpetrated by the police.
BLM-TO has shown that unity and militancy can win, even in the face of police repression, cold weather, racist media reports, and intimidation from the racist far-right. This struggle, initiated by young Black organizers, involving broad sections of the Black community in Toronto, and also allies, including the labour movement and students, promises to continue.
Violence by police, including extreme violence and murder, continues to be a regular occurrence, especially against Black, Indigenous and Trans communities across Ontario. The immoral lack of support for those struggling with mental health also claims many lives when desperate people are shot by police instead of receiving the help they need. Institutionalized police practices of racist harassment in Ontario, especially through “carding” or “street checks”, which Queen’s Park has decided to regulate instead of eliminate, making the Premier complicit in racial profiling and ongoing systemic racism.
When murder does occur and the perpetrator wears a uniform, the system fails to press charges in almost all cases, especially if the victim is a racialized person. This is proven most recently with the murders of Jermaine Carby in Brampton and Andrew Loku in Toronto.
The Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) reiterates its demand for real civilian control over police in every Ontario jurisdiction. We support the demands of the movement against racist policing including:
- That the names of the officers who killed Andrew Loku and Andrew Wettlaufer be made public, that charges be laid and a coroner’s inquest take place;
- That Premier Wynne and City Hall make good on their promises to review the SIU, with consultation from Black communities, and that this results in the creation of civilian control over police and that police impunity be ended;
- That “carding” be fully eliminated in Ontario in all cases, including the deletion of all previously recorded data, consistent implementation across different police boards, and concrete disciplinary measures for officers who continue to card.
The CPC (O) encourages all progressive organizations to extend the already broad and active support received in this struggle against racism and for equality and justice.
Provincial Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada (Ontario)
07 April, 2016