Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 8 Mosqueteria Protest

Bear with me for a bit. Trying a different format and posting of images so things may look a little wonky for a little bit. So yesterday evening there was another protest in front of the Toronto District School Board headquarters on Yonge street. This is the second one and there will probably be a few more to come. So far they are sticking by their decision to allow a cafeteria in a public school to be turned into a mosque and have an iman lead prayers during school hours. Since this story was broken by Blazing Cat Fur in the beginning of July, more information has come forward. He's been following it and updating on it as he gets new information. He was there last night as well taping the speeches of most of the speakers that showed up. There was a good crowd of people against the TDSB policy, a very diverse crowd as well. Sometimes I hate using the word diverse, since the left has co-opted it for their own means. In this case though it was a good mixed crowd of all cultures that are against the TDSB's decision to give one religion preferential treatment over others.
G. J. Rancourt
Rev. Tony Costa
Raheel Raza
Meir Weinstein
Ron Banerjee

Protesters Against Prayer in School
There were some good speakers and there were some bad ones.  Trust me, some people shouldn't be given a mike.  Blazing Cat Fur, has some good video of some people that were there in support from different organizations.  Worth the watch if you have the time.  I won't focus much more on the protest itself.  Similar signs from last time, so no need to cover them again.  A petition was out for people to sign to show their displeasure to TDSB.

The counter protestors though is where the real story is this time I think.
Counter Protesters

Counter Protesters
There were more counter protesters out this time as well. Before there were only four or five, this time there at least three times the amount. All young, and from what I gleaned in hearing in conversations most were from York University. A university that seems to spout anti-semitism on a regular basis and has been the subject of many news stories and articles on other blogs over the past three years.

There were a few other men there as well.  Two were at the previous protest.  One is a teacher in the TDSB and is supporting the TDSB's prayer policy.  There were a lot of heated words exchanged between these men and other protesters.  A lot of lies being said about the JDL, for example they are a terrorist group.  Not to mention that prayer IS allowed in school.  Technically they are right in one aspect.  There is no prohibition against praying in schools.  There is a prohibition of the school organizing and supporting one religion over another.  Trouble is that any other religion that wants to set up prayers or other such religious meetings don't get the okay.

"I hate zionsim"

Things were going okay, the turn out was good and fairly respectful.  There were a few heated discussions with the above three and a few other people.  About a little ways in a few of the counter protesters started crossing lines to wave their signs.  It was two girls at first that got into the midst of the protest crowd.  Some of the JDL got in front of them and tried blocking their signs with flags, which meant the two girls moved further forward and tried to get around the blockers.

Well this kept going on until there were about three or four in there really causing a roucus and a police officer stepped in and told her to get back to her own side.

This seemed to be the breaking point for the counter protesters.  They moved in closer waving their signs. moving left, moving right.  Trying to get into the crowd of the protesters to show their signs. The Anti-TDSB protesters helped by holding any of their banners in the way, and other people assisted in blocking.  I had noticed that the police presence had grown from two originally when I had arrived at around 6:30 to almost eight.  I couldn't see things getting that out of hand.  You never know though.

Well that's all for now.  The protest was interesting and the speakers had a lot to say.  Like I said the number of counter protesters were in larger numbers this time.  There are further protests planned and it should be interesting to see how many will show up next time.  If they are York University students, probably and probably from the MSA, then when the end of the month comes there will probably be more.

We can't just sit back and do nothing though.  A secular system is a secular system.  No matter who wants it to change. 

Keep watching.