FSWC Community Alert on Al-Quds Day Demonstrations in Toronto

April 5, 2024

Community Update

< Back to News Room
Al-Quds Day demonstration in Toronto in 2019

Toronto (April 5, 2024) - Ahead of Al-Quds Day demonstrations planned for this weekend in Toronto, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has communicated concerns to the Toronto Police Service to ensure measures are in place to protect the safety of the city's Jewish community.

Since first created in 1979 in Iran by Islamic revolutionaries, Al-Quds Day rallies have become annual hate fests in cities around the world calling for the destruction of Israel while inciting antisemitism and anti-Jewish violence.

Earlier this afternoon at a press conference, Toronto Police Deputy Chief Lauren Pogue said, "It's imperative that Torontonians stand together. Turning against each other or resorting to violence towards fellow citizens and police is not the answer."

"Large protests are once again expected this weekend," she further stated. "We are asking demonstrators to work with us to ensure peaceful and orderly demonstrations and to recognize the city’s patience throughout months of disruptions."

FSWC is grateful to the Toronto Police Service for its vigilance and for clearly communicating its intentions to keep our city streets safe ahead of this weekend's demonstrations. We have also been in contact with Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow's office to express our concerns, as well as a number of councillors, including James Pasternak who has been a strong advocate on the issue of hate rallies, particularly Al-Quds, each year.

Given what we’ve witnessed at Al-Quds events in Toronto in recent years, FSWC urges the community to remain alert and report any incidents of antisemitism and violence to police.