Councillor Rawlson King issued a statement on behalf of United For All, a coalition of 44 partners dedicated to combating racism in East Ontario, regarding hate incidents at the downtown protests.
The United for All coalition strongly condemns the racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic symbols, signs and acts used at this weekend’s protests in downtown Ottawa. The display of Confederate flags, Nazi yellow stars and swastikas is traumatizing to members of vulnerable communities who continue to be marginalized by acts of hate and violence.
The use of racist and anti-Semitic flags and symbols, the mockery of Indigenous culture, and the harassment of residents clearly show that this protest has not been “peaceful.” Defacing national and Indigenous monuments, inciting hate, and wielding signs with violent imagery sows fear, division, and polarization in our community.
United for All is a coalition of 44 organizations representing 150+ partners who are all committed to overcoming hate-based violence, racism, and extremism in East Ontario. Our partnership of social service agencies, faith-based organizations, policymakers, human rights groups, health providers, school boards and post-secondary institutions, grassroots social justice groups, criminal justice professionals, cultural groups and more, have the common mission to build safe, compassionate, resilient communities for everyone. We are reminded that, despite the hate on display this weekend, the vast majority of people in our communities share our values.
Speaking on behalf of the United for All coalition, Councillor Rawlson King said:
We must not let hate and violence bleed through the broader community, but instead we must choose a future of kindness and care for each other.
True freedom requires the health, safety, and security of everyone in our communities, not only for those who have the loudest voice or the privilege to take up space. As a coalition, we are committed to overcoming hate-based violence, racism, and extremism in East Ontario, and to preventing and confronting hatred in our communities. Indeed, this is a responsibility of all citizens.
People who peddle hate and violence do not define our vibrant communities. Parading with swastikas, desecrating national monuments, intimidating residents and attacking people at homeless shelters is the antithesis of supporting democratic freedoms. We stand with those who continue to be affected by these displays of intolerance.”
Ottawa City Councillor, Rideau-Rockcliffe