Protests Continue to Demand Justice in Choudry Killing
Since the death of Mr. Ejaz Choudry at the hands
of Peel Regional Police on June 20, the community of Malton in
Mississauga, Ontario and citizens from across the Greater Toronto Area
have been gathering to protest at the intersection of Morning Star
Drive and Goreway Road on a daily basis. On Wednesday, June 24, the day
of the funeral for Mr. Choudry, a contingent shouting "What do we want?
Justice! For who? Ejaz!" made their way from the funeral procession
towards the intersection at around 7:30 pm, where they were met by
other protesters. At around 8:15 pm many of the protesters,
predominantly youth, decided to march north on Goreway and block the CN
Family speaks at Ezaj Choudry's funeral June 24, 2020 (left) and photo
of some of the
many people attending (right).
As the protesters blocked the railway tracks,
shouts of "Justice for Ejaz -- Now!," "Defund the Police, Increase
Funding for Youth and Social Programs!" were repeatedly heard. Many of
the youth who took part in the demonstration were Muslim and, at one
point, knelt on the train tracks, facing eastward, to pray in silence.
As a result of the blockade of the tracks, two CN Rail freight trains
were stopped from entering the crossing. The train engineers approached
the protesters to get information about the duration of the protest. In
the process of discussion, the engineers expressed their support for
the protesters. The rail blockade lasted about two-and-a-half hours.
During the last half hour, a family member of the late Mr. Choudry told
the protesters that the police had notified the family about the
possibility of arrests being made, given that the protesters were on
Youth block railway tracks following Choudry's funeral, June 24, 2020.
Subsequently, the youth, who took the lead in the
protest, began to discuss what direction or plan should be taken. It
was decided amongst the protesters that, before complying with the
police threats, that they would make counter demands, and if those
demands were not met within 24 hours, then the CN railway track would
once again be blocked the next day. Their demands were
1) that the name of the police officer who killed
Mr. Ejaz Choudry be released to the public;
2) that an independent body investigate the
killing of Mr. Choudry and not the Special Investigations Unit; and
3) that the family be given a different apartment
from where Mr. Choudry was killed.
During the demonstration, many youth who reside in
the Malton area spoke about the continuous police harassment and racial
profiling that takes place in the community. Not a few expressed their
personal experiences of police violence and brutality against them. The
youth and protesters in general expressed anger at a system that is
racist and made the link of racism being interconnected with a
socio-economic system that they said does not work for them.
The intersection of Goreway and Morning Star in
Malton continues to be blocked by the community on a 24-hour basis.
The Special Investigations Unit "is the civilian oversight agency
responsible for investigating circumstances involving police that have
resulted in a death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault
of a civilian in Ontario, Canada." (Wikipedia)
This article was published in
Volume 50 Number 23 - June 27, 2020
Protests Continue to Demand Justice in Choudry Killing - Frank Chilelli