Thousands of anti-Israel protestors gathered outside the US Consulate in Toronto as part of a “National Day of Action 100K March for Gaza” protest. One police officer on site estimated that 25,000 people were in attendance. Other anti-Israel protests also occurred in other major cities.
The event was organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement. The event's poster demanded an “End Canadian complicity,” “Ceasefire now,” and an “End the siege on Gaza now.”
The event opened with speeches and chanting, among which was “from the river to the sea” chant, which is a call for genocide against the people of Israel.
Several signs in the crowd made shocking comparisons to Hitler and Nazis.
Politicians such as Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden were criticized by the protestors as being “complicit in genocide” and “supporting terrorism.” Some also chanted that Trudeau's “hands are red.”
Several LGBTQ+ activists were present in the crowd despite Gaza's notoriously poor treatment of the gay community.
As the group made its way through the downtown core, protestors called for a boycott of Aroma Espresso Bar, a coffee chain founded in Israel. They graffitied slogans including “Free Gaza,” “You support genocide,” and “Child killers” on the business' exterior.
They also plastered the business with various stickers, including one that said “BOYCOTT. This business supports genocide.” Others contained the information of different individuals under the heading “Murdered by Israel” and included the hashtag #CEASEFIRENOW.
Another location of Aroma was also targeted by anti-Israel protestors.
At least two politicians—MPP Goldie Ghamari and MP Kevin Vuong—were quick to express interest in visiting Aroma to support the business in response. Recently, Ghamari and Vuong were among the outpouring of support for Cafe Landwer when they were targeted for being what the protestors called a “zionist cafe.”
As evening fell, the anti-Israel protest turned into a sit-in at the intersection of Wellington and Bay. Social media posts indicated that the protestors intend to be there all night.