Posted on Mar. 21, 2016

    9 Things Black Lives Matter Supporters Want Toronto To Know

    "Stop killing us."

    by ,

    Black Lives Matter supporters in Toronto are camped out in front of city hall and police headquarters to protest the recent shooting of a man by police, and the decision to not pursue charges in the killing of Andrew Loku.

    BuzzFeed Canada

    Investigators announced last week that no charges would be laid against the officer who shot and killed Loku last July. Loku was shot in his apartment building — which provides affordable housing to those living with mental illness — by an unnamed officer.

    The city also reduced Afrofest, an annual festival celebrating African music and culture, from two days to one over noise complaints.

    Additionally, a 21-year-old Alex Wettlaufer was shot and killed by police officers a week ago.

    In light of all that, Black Lives Matter supporters are making their presence and their exasperation known.

    We asked those camping out to tell us what message they want to sent to the city, police, and the people of Toronto.

    BuzzFeed Canada

    1. Some had a simple message: stop the killing.

    BuzzFeed Canada

    "Stop killing us."

    — Adabu, 24

    2.

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    "Stop the killing."

    — Peabody, "too old to tell"

    3. Many wanted justice for Loku's death.

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    "We want the names of Andrew Loku's murderers. #BlackLivesMatter"

    — Savannah, 21

    4.

    BuzzFeed Canada

    "Give us the name of the officer who murdered Andrew Loku. #BlackDisabledLivesMatter"

    — Amber, 26

    5. As well as justice for Abdurahman Hassan and Melkioro Gahungu, who both died in the custody of the Canadian Border Services Agency.

    BuzzFeed Canada

    "Release the names of Andrew Loku's killers. Justice for Melkioro Gahungu & Abdurahman Hassan's deaths. #BlackLivesMatter."

    — Mina, 26

    6.

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    "Justice or else."

    — Yasmin, 22

    7. Others called attention to the intersecting identities that affect black Canadians.

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    "Black sex workers deserve our respect & humanity."

    — Jasbina, 30

    8. Or just why people — police, the city, fellow Torontonians — react with fear to black people.

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    "What are you scared of?"

    — Melisse, 25

    9. But also that they will not back down.

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    "We are *magic* and we are resilient. Always will be. #BlackLivesMatterToronto"

    — Kike

    March 21 is also the International Day Against Racism. To mark the occasion, Black Lives Matter Toronto has released a list of demands aimed at Mayor John Tory and Police Chief Mark Saunders.

    BuzzFeed Canada

    The demands include laying charges against the officer who shot Loku, restoring Afrofest to two days, and a review of the Special Investigations Unit, which investigates cases where police injure or kill civilians.

    Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

    Contact Lauren Strapagiel at lauren.strapagiel@buzzfeed.com.

    Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

    Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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