Toronto Sees Multiple Demonstrations in Solidarity with Palestine and Israel

Demonstrators gathering in support of both Palestinian

As the conflict escalates overseas, Toronto witnessed a series of rallies on Monday, with demonstrators gathering in support of both Palestinian and Israeli communities. Amidst the heightened emotions, police presence was notably increased, emphasizing safety and the prevention of any violent outbreaks.

Demonstrators in support of Israel gathered at Mel Lastman Square starting at 7 p.m., while those rallying for Palestine began their demonstration at Toronto’s City Hall around 2 p.m.

“We are there for public safety,” said Deputy Chief Lauren Pogue during a news conference. “We recognize people have a right to gather… we will be there to ensure as people show up, we are there to keep that peace. Crime will not be tolerated.”

Hundred gathered at city hall

Arrests and Crowd Control

While both rallies were mostly peaceful, Toronto police confirmed four arrests were made shortly after the Mel Lastman Square rally concluded around 8:17 p.m. The specifics of the charges remain undisclosed.

To maintain peace during the gatherings, approximately 250 police officers, along with other private security officials, patrolled the squares where the demonstrations took place.

Leaders Speak Out

In a notable move later on Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow stood together in North York, expressing their “unequivocal” support for Israel’s right to defend itself. This gathering, heavily patrolled by security, witnessed hundreds waving Israeli flags and expressing their solidarity with Israel.

Chow was forthright in her stance, condemning the pro-Hamas rally at Nathan Phillips Square. “The Government of Canada has rightly listed Hamas as a terrorist organization and we simply must not tolerate any support of terror, full stop,” said Chow.

Highlighting the seriousness of the recent conflicts, Palestinian militant groups have reported holding over 130 people who were captured in Israel during the last two days. “Glorifying this weekend’s indiscriminate violence, including murder and kidnapping of women and children, by Hamas against Israeli civilians is deplorable,” Chow added.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks at an Ottawa-area event designed to show solidarity with Israelis amid an ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

National Response

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also weighed in on the recent demonstrations. “The glorification of violence is never acceptable in Canada — by any group or in any situation,” stated Trudeau. Expressing his concerns, he wrote on X, “I strongly condemn the demonstrations that have taken place, and are taking place, across the country in support of Hamas’ attacks on Israel. Let’s stand united against acts of terror.”