Peterborough has responded to an anti-immigration "rally" planned by a few individuals for September 30th with a massive show of force, unity and love.
A huge and growing network of Peterborough businesses, organizations and individuals are drowning out the "rally" with the announcement of a Solidarity Weekend—"Love Lives Here", taking place September 29th to October 1st.
Community members and organizations have been meeting and gathering support over the past couple of weeks to organize a response to the "rally", and an online Statement of Unity is gaining momentum with hundreds of signatures from organizations and individuals.
The Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge is pleased to sign on to the community... https://t.co/HjFeBrPllf
As well, Mayor Daryl Bennett released this statement on the anti-immigration "rally":
“We must stand together against racism and hate. While our Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of expression, it also seeks to preserve and enhance our multicultural heritage. I trust that our law enforcement agencies will monitor and take action if any situations cross over to the promotion of hate or the advocacy of violence. The freedom of expression is not absolute.
Canada is a nation that was built on immigration. Our farms, our towns and our cities have grown and have flourished through the contributions of immigrants, their children, and their children’s children. To advocate against immigration is to advocate against what defines us as a country.
City Staff received an application for a park rental for a rally. The City is unable to deny an applicant the opportunity to hold a non-violent rally against immigration policies and the Trudeau government. However, the City has notified the police of the event and they have informed the City that they will monitor the situation.
I would assume that these individuals want to create controversy and get media attention. The last time one of these individuals was part of a rally in Peterborough it involved four people standing on a corner. We don’t want to raise the profile of these individuals.
The Peterborough community has responded appropriately to this latest action by showing compassion and support for diversity through creative events such as the Chalk Out Hate initiative that will be held on Friday.”
History teaches us we must not stand by idly: Sign the Statement of Unity here, and spread the word.