Toronto: Report from Feb 23 Anti-PEGIDA Action

From the Toronto IWW General Defence Committee

Around 12:45 PM, members of the IWW GDC, Toronto Against Fascism, and the Intersectional Antifascists (INAF), along with other antifascists and outraged members of the community arrived at the corner of Armoury and University, the intersection where PEGIDA planned to try and demonstrate.

We were soon joined by many more folks from a neighboring demonstration against the actions of the CBC in echoing the Canadian State’s support for the ongoing reactionary coup in Venezuela. We would like to thank both the organizers as well as all those who stood as comrades with us against the Islamophobic and neo-fascist members of PEGIDA, as well as their affiliates in the white supremacist and neo-nazi gangs of the Proud Boys, the Northern Guard, the Canadian Combat Coalition (C3), and the Sons and Wolves of Odin.

The first fascists arrived at approximately 2pm, and one member of the C3 and Northern Guard – Ed Jamnisek – attempted to enter our action but was swiftly removed from the main crowd, after which the crown forces of the Toronto police eventually escorted him to their pig pen.

The pen set up for the fascists was directly under a tag which read ‘racists out’ and emblazoned with the three arrows, setting an appropriate tone for the rest of the day.

Fascists slowly trickled in over the next hour, reaching around 30 at their peak to our almost a hundred, they were blocked from the view of passers-by with a large array of banners, and our chants and songs prevented then from being heard while we handed out literature exposing their disgusting views and the anti-muslim and anti-refugee violence of their founders in Germany.

In PEGIDA’s own words: “lots of them not so many of us.”

At one point, the police intervened to break up a fistfight between two Proud Boys, detaining one at least briefly. Such prominent and public displays of infighting by the far-right shows us their organizational disarray, but nevertheless this weakness should not lull us into a false sense of security – the fascist threat is very real and as dangerous on the streets to marginalized folks as ever. And lest any suspect the police have stopped collaborating with these racists, a TPS staff sergeant shook hands with the fash, showing state approval for their aims of white supremacy and the genocide of Muslims.

When crown forces attempted to deploy to allow the racists to march onto university avenue, antifascists moved to surround the area of the pen they would be let out through, causing the police to withdraw and refuse to escort the fascist march.

Shortly after this, PEGIDA were escorted back to their cars and dispersed, a total deplatforming with no arrests and without requiring clashes with the police (on this occasion).

Additionally, community members in the East End self-organised against a planned demonstration by neo-nazi faith goldy and her entourage, but after seeing the response from the community the skulking fascists departed without holding a demonstration of any kind.

Two victories in one day against the forces of reaction, a major win for antifascists in Toronto.

Victory in our lifetimes! ¡No Pasarán!