Solidarity march planned in response to video joking about London, Ont. attack

Click to play video: 'OPP investigating video of man joking about London, Ont. attack' OPP investigating video of man joking about London, Ont. attack
A video has surfaced online that shows a man inciting violence against three people across the street, two of whom are visible Muslims. It has prompted OPP to launch an investigation – Jun 11, 2021

A solidarity march is taking place on Monday night in a small midwestern Ontario community where a video originated joking about the London, Ont., attack.

It’s being held at the ball diamond at 111 George St. S. in Harriston, Ont., which is 70 kilometres northwest of Guelph in the Town of Minto.

Read more: London attack suspect charged with terrorism

“We could not sit back and watch this disgusting attack on members of our community,” said Peggy Raftis, Minto’s cultural roundtable chair.

“Our community prides itself on being a place where all families belong. We condemn all racism and stand in support of our Muslim community.”

The cultural roundtable and several concerned citizens have helped plan the march, the town said.

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The video in question was shot from inside a home in Harriston showing two women wearing hijabs and a child walking on the street outside.

A man in the background is heard saying, “Where is Nathaniel Veltman when you need him?” referring to the suspect in the attack.

As the video pans to the left to keep the group in the frame, a white pickup truck drives by and the man can be heard saying, “Buddy you missed them, back up,” before laughing.

Global News has chosen not to post the video, which started making the rounds online last week after being posted to TikTok.

Wellington County OPP say they are “in the early stages of investigating the matter.”

Four family members were killed and a fifth was injured after being struck June 6 by a pickup truck. The London Police Service has said it believes the victims “were targeted because they were Muslim.”

Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother were killed. Nine-year-old Fayez Afzaal suffered serious injuries but survived.

A 20-year-old man has been charged with murder and terrorism charges.

Click to play video: 'Hundreds pay respects at funeral for Muslim family killed in London, Ontario attack' Hundreds pay respects at funeral for Muslim family killed in London, Ontario attack
Hundreds pay respects at funeral for Muslim family killed in London, Ontario attack – Jun 12, 2021

On Friday, Wellington County Warden Kelly Linton and Minto Mayor George Bridge released a joint statement.

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“The anti-Muslim sentiment expressed in this disgusting video is abhorrent to the residents of Wellington County and the Town of Minto, and all efforts must be used to denounce hatred in all its forms,” the statement read.

“Islamophobia and all forms of racism have no place in our community, and we must ensure that messages of hate and fear fall on deaf ears.”

Read more: Canadians need to step up to tackle online hate — even with ‘crazy uncles’, says expert

A spokesperson with Wellington County confirmed the individuals in the video are connected to its settlement services, which assist newcomers to Canada.

The march will begin from the ballpark at 7 p.m. and those attending are encouraged to wear green and purple. Purple was Yumna Afzaal’s favourite colour and green has several connections to Islam.

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