As members of the Toronto-Danforth NDP, we stand in solidarity with Black communities during these difficult times. It’s time for us to do our part. As a riding association, we commit ourselves to supporting the Ontario NDP’s commitment to Ending Police Violence and Investing in Black, Indigenous and Racialized People’s Lives.
The recent deaths of racialized people in the United States, of Ejaz Ahmed Choudry, Chantel Moore and Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a Black and Indigenous resident of Parkdale, and of Black and Indigenous people across Canada as a result of police brutality has sparked anger and rage in Toronto and across the globe. However, the issue of anti-Black racism did not start with these recent incidents. Anti-Black racism has and continues to exist in our institutions. Further, anti-Black racism must not be separated from anti-Indigenous racism and the deep-rooted violent legacy of colonialism.
For far too long Black people have been over-surveilled and are disproportionately overrepresented in our criminal justice system — results of systemic anti-Black racism. The colour of our skin continues to determine our experiences with police, education, healthcare, other social institutions and with each other. We need to break down, rethink and rebuild our systems together.
This month we are engaging in anti-oppression training for members of our riding executive so we can do a better job implementing an anti-oppressive framework to the work we do. We encourage everyone to support local Black-owned businesses and consider making a donation to:
As members of the Toronto Danforth NDP, we are calling for real action on addressing anti-Black racism in our institutions with actionable plans. This includes ending discriminatory practices such as carding, overhauling police oversight so police are truly accountable to the public and the communities they serve, and the collection of race-based data in policing, healthcare, education and employment.
Finally, we unequivocally denounce the Toronto Police’s long history of anti-Black racism.
We need to look at alternatives to policing, such as demilitarizing police forces by diverting spending on military-grade hardware into community services, and replacing armed police with non-police first responders for calls related to mental health, addictions, homelessness and school discipline.
Communities across Ontario have called for defunding the police and as members of Toronto Danforth NDP, we believe that the response starts with de-escalation, intervention, mental health and addiction support, housing and poverty reduction.