“I don't condemn the violence”: Interviewing Toronto's BLM supporters

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With Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests, looting, and riots and Antifa inciting violence all across the world, Torontonians took the streets for the second time in what could shape up to be a semi-regular event.

With rumours circulating online about rioting, violence and the occasional mysteriously-placed pile of bricks, the afternoon had the potential to be very interesting.

Hundreds of protesters took to Yonge Street in Toronto to walk towards City Hall, where the march culminated with mass kneeling, and chanting in a circle.

Did any violence happen? No.

Did a few people scream obscenities at the police? Yes.

But overall, the protest was by far one of the more peaceful you may have seen lately, especially if you've been watching the events transpire on Twitter or other social media.

We decided to interview as many people as we could. The result was a lot of calls for more funding and better police interactions in their communities.

However, when pressed on certain subjects, the answers left a lot to be desired. There are accusations of systemic racism without evidence, mass injustice in the way of unlawful arrests and police killings without citation, and perhaps worst of all, many protesters agreed with the official BLM mantra of defunding the police.

Many others stated they supported an end to police funding, preferring monies be put towards other initiatives, while some excused the wording of “defund police” and claimed it meant something closer to budget cuts. BLM certainly pulls no punches when advocating these things and certainly should be taken at their word.

Lastly, there were a few calls for communist revolution, and not to be forgotten, many young marchers excusing violence at other protests across North America.

“You're either for it all or against it all,” explained one teenaged protester. When asked if she was okay if her neighbourhood was ravaged with her windows smashed, she was willing to claim she wouldn't really mind.

It seemed the younger the protester, the more likely they were willing to excuse violence and claim it was simply people letting off steam, which of course is easy to say when you're not footing the bill.

If you have any questions, feel free to tweet me @AndrewSaysTV or comment on Instagram.com/News.Rebel - don't forget, we need to hire security for these events.

Journalists like Keean Bexte and David Menzies are routinely attacked and security doesn't come cheap.

Help out with the costs at JournalistDefenceFund.com.

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