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Community gathers at east Toronto park to spread message against hate

Residents of East York gather to spread a message of acceptance in the wake of controversial flyers being put up in their neighbourhood. John Sandeman / Global News

A grassroots community event in Toronto’s east end drew over 100 residents who made signs to counter the “ultra right-wing” flyers that marred their neighbourhood earlier in the week.

The East Toronto Anti-Racism Collective was recently formed to respond to posters glued to utility poles in and around East York’s Stan Wadlow Park on Monday.

READ MORE: ‘Very disturbing’ signs call for white people to mobilize against multiculturalism in Toronto

The flyers, which displayed the headline ‘Hey, WHITE PERSON’ decried political correctness and invited other like-minded people to join the “alt-right” movement.

“The American election has emboldened some of the extreme right voices in the US and I think it’s important for us to say, ‘We’re not going to let that happen here’,” said local councillor Janet Davis, who attended Saturday’s event.

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“A number of people organized as part of a Facebook neighbourhood group to say this is not the kind of neighbourhood we want,” said organizer Jennie Worden.

Since the initial posters were discovered, the Danforth East Community Association and the Woodbine Heights Association issued statements condemning their messaging and affirmed the area as an inclusive one.

Signs made by attendees of an anti-racism rally at Stan Wadlow Park in East York. John Sandeman / Global News

“People really, really care about this community being an inclusive community where everyone feels welcome regardless of their race and other parts of their identity,” said organizer Farah Mawani.

READ MORE: Ottawa police investigate 2nd instance of anti-Semitic vandalism in 3 days

Meanwhile, Ottawa police arrested a suspect Saturday morning after multiple incidents of racist graffiti were discovered across the city over the past week.

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