Police separated M103 protesters and counter-protesters at larger rallies in Toronto and Calgary, but if the event's Facebook page is to be believed, not many people showed up locally.
An opposing protest, in comparison, had 180 confirmed on its Facebook.
At the very least, the protest was overshadowed by a Special Olympics fundraiser happening in the same place at the same time, where the chief of police and local politicians jumped into an ice-cold dunk tank.
The Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens, based out of Montreal, is self-described as “an advocacy group comprised of men and women from all walks of life,” but the very motion its members are protesting is one against “systemic racism and religious discrimination.”
The group states its reservations about the motion stem from a desire to protect freedom of speech. Issac Saney, Transition Year Program director and senior instructor in Black Studies at Dalhousie University, doesn't believe that.
“Words do actually have a concrete impact in the world,” he says.
“Given the events that have unfolded in the United States—also events with people like Kellie Leitch and so forth—that some groups feel they’ve been given license, right? To engage in this so-called reactionary, extremely
In a statement issued earlier today, Solidarity Halifax says: “The backlash against M-103 that
The motion was last debated in mid-February, which prompted a protest in Toronto, where politicians such as Leitch spoke along with members of Rebel Media. Vice reported attendees throwing up Nazi salutes. Two days later, a separate rally involved a group of people blocking the entrance to a Toronto mosque, preventing some of those who arrived for Friday morning prayers from getting inside.
“When people try to rehabilitate the Nazi salute or calls of '
Whether it's a protest, such as the ones taking place today, or a violent attack like what happened in Quebec, Saney says it's heartening to see people pushing back.
“Those things are positive,” he says.