University of Toronto denies ‘Nationalist Rally’ will take place on campus
The University of Toronto has denied a controversial “Toronto Nationalist Rally” will be taking place on its campus next month after outcry on social media.
“What we want to emphasize, throughout the entirety of the campaign, is that a positive and professional message must come first. We will not tolerate verbal threats or attempts to physically intimidate our speakers, our hosts, or our attendees,” a Facebook page for the event said.
“Our policy is very clear: anyone who violates the freedom of expression or the physical well-being of another person will be immediately escorted out and handed over to law enforcement. We will be a space for open dialogue and constructive debate.”
The post said organizers were looking for volunteers and that there would be no admission cost for the event, which was open to the public. It also asked “all attendees to be courteous and grateful to our event hosts.”
The university tweeted Monday afternoon they had received numerous requests for information about the event, but added there was “no such booking” and they were not hosting it.
In an updated tweet at 8:20 p.m., the university wrote it has reported the event to Facebook.
“There was never a formal request made, there hasn’t been any communication between the group and the university — they haven’t approached us. There is no affiliation between the university,” U of T spokeswoman Althea Blackburn-Evans told Global News.
“We are looking into it to determine why it is the group has listed the university as the location for their event given that they have no booking confirmed with us.”
On Saturday, a car plowed through a group of people in Charlottesville, Va., as they were protesting a white supremacist rally. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested shortly after and charged with second-degree murder and other counts.
A vigil was also held in Toronto Sunday night to remember the victims of Saturday’s violence. A rally was also held in Montreal, according to social media and local media reports.
With files from The Canadian Press
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