#Toronto; #Ontario; #RallyAgainstRacism; #DeathOfKorchinskiPaquet; #AntiRacism
Toronto, May 31 (Canadian-Media): A peaceful rally was organized by a group dubbed Not Another Black Life downtown Toronto streets on Saturday to protest racism around the world world and to demand answers in the death of 29-year-old Toronto resident Regis Korchinski-Paquet, media reports said.
A Minnesota police officer faces a 3rd degree murder charge in the death of George Floyd, a black man caught on video by an officer knelt on his neck, while Floyd pleaded for air.
Korchinski-Paquet's death has drawn widespread community reaction and online attention after her cousin and mother took to social media following her death, initially claiming she was pushed off a balcony by police.
Later on Saturday, the rally turned into a march and police estimated the non-violent crowd was between 3,500 and 4,000.
Meanwhile, police said hundreds attended a similar protest in Halifax on Saturday. No arrests were made.
Racism a 'fact in our society,' Toronto mayor says.
Ontario's Special Investigations Unit is looking into the death of Korchinski-Paquet, as questions swirl around exactly what happened in the moments leading up to her death.
Korchinski-Paquet was described as an active member of her church, a talented gymnast and proud of her Ukrainian and Nova Scotian roots.
On Friday, Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders urged calm in the wake the incident.
Describing anti-black racism as "a fact in our society", Toronto Mayor John Tory encouraging protesters to practise physical distancing in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, a petition on Change.org demanding justice for Korchinski-Paquet has drawn over 50,000 signatures.
Anti-Racism. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
#Minneapolis ; #murder; #riots; #CivilRightsActivists; #RacialBias; #USCriminalJusticeSystem
Minnesota, May 30 (Canadian-Media): Graphic video footage taken by an onlooker's cell phone and widely circulated on the internet showing the manslaughter of 46-year-old George Floyd May 25 by police officer Derek Chauvin's knee pressed into his neck reignited the civil rights activists' attempts in Minneapolis and cities across the country over persistent racial bias in the U.S. criminal justice system, media reports said.
An investigation into Floyd's death has been launched by the U.S. Justice Department.
Floyd, 46, a Houston native who had worked as a nightclub security guard was arrested after being was accused of trying to pass counterfeit money at a corner store.
The protests and vandalism in Minneapolis caused by Floyd's death had received national attention.
Floyd's death was also reminiscent of the case of Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 in New York after a police officer placed him in a chokehold by police and Gardner also said he could not breathe.
The other three officers involved have not been charged, but the investigation is continuing.
it was warned by some activists and community leaders the protests may continue to push for the arrests of and charges for the three other officers.
Due to violence and vandalism by raged protesters, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey declared a curfew order from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time on Friday and Saturday not allowing anyone in public except emergency responders and people seeking medical care, fleeing danger or those who are homeless.
But about 500 demonstrators defied the curfew imposed and clashed Friday evening with riot police outside a battered Third Precinct building.
Rage over the killing of Floyd spread from Minneapolis to other large cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, Ga., New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Portland.
A state of emergency was declared by Georgia's governor early Saturday to activate the state National Guard.
Meanwhile, 500 more Guard soldiers were mobilized in and around Minneapolis.
The Minnesota governor said early Saturday that he was considering federal help as well as moving to activate more than 1,000 more National Guard soldiers.
A crowd of protesters confronted police outside the White House in Lafayette Square Park early Saturday.
A as the demonstration grew outside, the building was placed under lockdown for a time, White House spokesperson said.
IOM; #Racism; #Xenophobia; #Covd19Pandemic; #RightToHealth; #HumanRights
Geneva, May 22 (Canadian-Media): Few crises in our collective memory have had the global reach of COVID-19. Across our societies, communities have responded to this pandemic with strong cooperation and solidarity. Some, however, have found in it a pretext to scapegoat foreign nationals including migrants, and others living on the fringes of society, blaming them for the virus’ spread, IOM reports said.
IOM. Image credit: Twitter Handle
Racist and xenophobic incidents linked to the outbreak have been widespread. They include verbal and physical assaults, social exclusion, denial of access to goods and services, boycotting of businesses, discriminatory movement restrictions and quarantine policies, as well as xenophobic rhetoric from politicians, other public figures and the media, in what the UN Secretary General has described as a “tsunami of hate and xenophobia.”
As strict lockdown measures ease, we are concerned that incidents of xenophobia will further increase, exacerbated by social tensions created by the projected economic downturn. As countries around the world take the first steps towards re-opening their societies and returning their populations to streets, schools, shops, and workplaces, it is all the more important that the fight against xenophobia continue and that it is integrated into economic and social recovery efforts.
Fear and uncertainty in the midst of a pandemic is understandable, but this fear should not justify xenophobia and racism. Discriminatory attitudes and hate crimes grounded in fear compromise the rights of those targeted, affect the safety of all and undermine the complex recovery process. It is essential that accurate information about how the disease is spread is provided to the public. Continued misinformation regarding the role of “foreigners” or “outsiders” in spreading the virus wreaks havoc, endangers lives and prevents people from making sound choices to protect themselves, their families and the wider community.
The right to health is universal. Everyone should be entitled to seek and receive medical care if they suspect they have been exposed to the virus, and share information to prevent its spread. Migrants and their communities should not have to fear discrimination, reprisals or other adverse consequences for doing so. Many States recognize this and have granted migrants free access to COVID-19 testing and treatment regardless of their legal status, ensuring that those in an irregular situation are not reported to immigration authorities.
Economies and societies are strengthened by the rich contributions of migrants the world over. Where given the opportunity, migrants are already playing an essential role in scientific research, healthcare, and in supporting essential industries such as food production, transportation and the production of personal protective equipment (PPE). Migrants’ contribution will be essential as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic. To ensure migrants won’t be threatened by xenophobia and discrimination, IOM calls for: