Abolish the Police and Prisons Pride March kicked off Sunday morning at Nathan Phillips Square

People gathered Sunday morning in downtown Toronto to reclaim and celebrate “radical histories, to refuse all forms of police and carceral and corporatized violence, and for liveable futures without police and prisons.”

Hosted by No Pride in Policing Coalition and co-sponsored by No More Silence, the Abolish the Police and Prisons Pride March ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nathan Phillips Square.

Indigenous Elder Wanda Whitebird officiated the opening ceremony, while Robyn Maynard, Brianna Olson Pitawanakwat of Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction, Beverly Bain, Tom Hooper, Desmond Cole, Gary Kinsman, Channel Gallant, Rinaldo Walcott, Rajean Hoilett of Workers Action Centre, Mino Do from Butterfly of Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network, and Joy Wong of Friends of China Town served as the day’s speakers.

Participants then departed Nathan Phillips Square and march north on University Avenue stopping at key sites along the way to “acknowledge 2SLGBTQ+ Black and racialized, and queer and trans protests and resistance.”

The theme of this year’s event was “Abolitionist Pride: Reclaiming our Radical Histories and Creating Liveable Futures without Police and Prisons.”

The event was organized in response to Toronto police’s recent release of a report on race-based data, which found Black, Indigenous and racialized people were over-represented in use of force incidents and strip searches.

Organizers say these communities “continue to experience the ever-increasing violence from police in the streets, in their homes and in encampments around the City of Toronto.”

They said the march also aims to serve as a “refusal of the on-going corporatization of Pride Toronto and their investment in relationships with the Police, Mayor John Tory and Premier Doug Ford.”

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