Not even a mere 48 hours after Torontonians banded together for the Unite Against Racism rally in Nathan Phillips Square, another rally is expected to take place in the city. This time, however, it's to communicate a profoundly different message.
Sources have confirmed that an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rally is being hosted by the PEGIDA (the "Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes") tomorrow afternoon.
The rally will be held at the corner of University Ave and Armoury St. A wide range of far-right extremist organizations are expected to partake in the rally, such as the Proud Boys, the Northern Guard, and the Three Percenter militia.
Several political and community organizations, like Toronto Against Fascism, Intersectional Anti-Fascists, and Toronto IWW General Defence Committee Local 28 are planning to disrupt the rally and shut it down.
the fascist group PEGIDA is planning an anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rally this Sat (tomorrow) at 1 pm from University Ave and Armoury St. pls show up (if you can) to resist them and join the fight against Islamophobia + white supremacy. #Torontohttps://t.co/45jAeC7757— Gelek B (@GelekB) March 22, 2019
The anti-fascist agencies explain in a Facebook post that they "will be there to stand against islamophobia, racism, and fascism." The groups also urge the general public to "please come out and support Muslims, refugees, immigrants, and all others under threat by these organizations."
In English, PEGIDA stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident. The organization has been described as a German nationalist, anti-Islam, far-right political movement. The group was established in Dresden back in October of 2014, and believes that the world is being increasingly "Islamicized". PEGIDA also defines itself in opposition to Islamic extremism.
The news of Saturday's rally, which begins at 1:00 PM, follows violent events that transpired at an anti-racism rally on Thursday. Just yesterday, a vigil and rally were held in Toronto in honour of the victims of the New Zealand mosque terror attacks. The event's atmosphere quickly went from sombre to tense as soon as a group of far-right activists arrived at the scene.
The rally, called Unite Against Racism, was intended to promote the speaking out against all forms of racism and discrimination. It was disrupted by a group of far-right supporters, including alleged white supremacist Faith Goldy.