Police monitoring social media posts about Toronto protests

By News Staff, The Canadian Press

Toronto police say they are aware of various social media posts suggesting that protests will take place in Toronto.

A police spokesperson told 680 NEWS that they “will continue to monitor and respond if necessary to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

Hudson’s Bay and Best Buy stores in the downtown core were seen boarding up their windows on Monday.

CityNews reached out to both companies, but hasn’t received a response.

Employees board up windows at a downtown Hudson’s Bay store in Toronto. David Misener/CITYNEWS

Meanwhile, the group that organized a peaceful protest in Toronto on Saturday says it isn’t planning any more rallies in the immediate future, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been getting a lot of messages asking if we’re having another protest, the answer is no,” a spokesperson for Not Another Black Life told 680 NEWS. “We are not planning another protest anytime soon, this is still a pandemic and we completely support the decisions and rules that have been implemented to keep people safe and protected from COVID-19. Please isolate if you can, we are all planning to get tested a bit later in the week.”

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of downtown Toronto on Saturday, chanting “justice for Regis” as they rallied in the aftermath of high-profile, police-involved deaths in both Canada and the United States.

The protest follows the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto on Tuesday, which is currently being probed by the province’s police watchdog. The 29-year-old fell from the balcony of a 24th-floor Toronto apartment while police were in the home.

In Toronto, protesters chanted “not another black life,” “abolish the police,” and “no justice, no peace” as they wound through the downtown streets clad in face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Their chants could be heard from several blocks away during what was a passionate but organized march.

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence.

The same couldn’t be said on Sunday night in Montreal where an anti-racism protest began peacefully, but turned ugly after the formal rally concluded and some demonstrators made their way back to the starting point, in the shadow of Montreal police headquarters downtown.

Windows were smashed, fires were set and the situation slid into a game of cat-and-mouse between pockets of protesters and police trying to disperse them.

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