Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Anti-War Protest 2007!
By Maurice Ali, Journalist
Toronto, Canada - Toronto was one of many protests marking the upcoming anniversary of the invasion of Iraq (March 20). I have covered this event many times in the past but this one was different. The idea this year was to make a human peace sign at City Hall here in downtown Toronto.
The photo above shows Nathan Phillips Square before the protestors arrived. The schedule was to have the protest start of the U.S. Consulate at 1:00PM and move to the square at 3:00 and make the human peace sign. This idea was to be done at several other cities this day. I arrived before the protestors came and could see the pylons that mark out the sign. All the press were having a hard time trying to get the best shot for their agencies and I could not find one angle that would really show that peace sign to best effect. In the end I just shot it halfway up the ramp and tried to get as much in as I could. It appears that nobody here in Toronto really could get that shot we had hoped for, but it was a great idea. The shot below is the best of the set I shot at the protest.
The human peace sign was just the main event today but there was more. The march was attended by about 2,000 people of many differing groups all here to denounce Canada's participation in Afghanistan and the U.S. occupation in Iraq. The unions were there as usual and the Communist Party of Canada was there handing out signs to many people who probably did not read the light grey print of the signs that said "Communist Party Of Canada"; so if you see yourself in one of my photos - then just be more careful next time...
As for the mood of this protest I would say it was confident. That concern was there but not as passionate as the earlier protests when Bush's war platform was more secure. This protest also had other agendas and Toronto was declared a "nuclear free zone" and that is the reason you see the "NO NUKES" sings in the photographs. There were also signs pointing to our deviation from Kyoto and other assorted agendas...
It appears that Madrid was the focus of the world today, but Toronto has always been a regular in these global protests. I have less hassle photographing people and groups as I must be familiar to the folk by now. Anyway, what follows are a few of the 180 photos of the event. Those who know me also know I photograph every sign, banner and group at these events, so if you are looking for a photo of your organization or group then I probably have it. Just e-mail me (check our website for contact information) and I will see if I can help.
If you want to know how to get your picture in a newspaper, all you have to do is juggle and ride a unicycle all at the same time (and with an anti-American sign on your back.....).
There is this strange guy with a mask in the photo above. I wonder what that means.....
In parting I just wanted to include this picture of City Hall as I just had to snap it before security threw me out of the restricted area...