Protesters gather in Toronto and Ottawa in wake of Ferguson verdict
WATCH: Protests around North America erupted in support of Michael Brown, including one here in Toronto. Cindy Pom reports.
TORONTO – People upset that Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson was not charged with the murder of Michael Brown protested the decision Tuesday evening in Toronto and Ottawa.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the U.S. consulate in Toronto holding signs that read “black lives matter” and shouting ” being black is not a crime.” Others held a candlelight vigil in memory of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was fatally shot by officer Wilson.
“Our message is that black lives matter,” said Janaya Khan, one of the organizers. “Our message is that we unequivocally stand against the no indictment ruled in favour of Darren Wilson and that we completely support Mike Brown and Mike Brown’s family. We support any kind of actions against state sanctioned violence and police brutality and we want to draw parallels to what is happening here in Canada to black and African peoples.”
In Ottawa, dozens of people gathered outside the American embassy holding signs reading “racism exists” and “black lives matter.”
One of the event organizers in Ottawa posted controversial remarks on the event’s Facebook page that “white/non black allies” should “refrain from taking up space” and “never be the centre of anything.”
WATCH: Non-black protesters in Toronto were asked to stay silent and stand back.
The same post appeared on the Facebook page for the Toronto event.
Bilan Arte, one of the Ottawa event organizers and deputy chairwoman with the Canadian Federation of Students, wrote on her own Facebook page that she had received more than 50 comments about the post from “righteous upset white people.”
Arte wrote that she asks “non-black folks to simply respect their role as allies.”
Protests in Toronto, Ottawa joined cities across the U.S. that are continuing a second evening of protest following Monday’s decision by a grand jury in the U.S. not to indict Wilson.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said Tuesday more than 2,200 National Guardsmen would be in place Tuesday night in case of further violence.
*With files from Global’s Cindy Pom