Posts Tagged ‘rainbow flag’

below: Posters made by “Army of Lovers”, a group organized by The 519 (an LGBTQ charity).   They were in response to a group of “anti-queer protesters, who call themselves Christian free-speech advocates” who planned to march up Church Street last Saturday.

two posters on a metal box on the street, one says no hate in our city and the other says, liberation in our lifetime - the army of love

below: Rev Jeff Rock of Metropolitan Community Church and Rev Cheri DiNovo of Trinity St. Pauls, led a ‘Unite for Love’ rally at Barbara Hall Park this past Saturday. Other faith leaders also talked to the crowd as did several politicians from all levels of government.  Themes of the talks largely dwelt on unity, equality, inclusion, and the idea that we are perfect in God’s eyes.

two Christian religious leaders talk at a rally

below: Mayor John Tory being interviewed by the media after the speeches.

Toronto mayor John TOry being interviewed by the media at a pro-Pride rally at Barbara Hall Park, City TV, CP 24, CTV and Global News were among the media.

below: Also after the speeches, a giant rainbow flag was unfurled.

people helping to open up a giant pride rainbow flag

two men help to spread a giant size pride rainbow flag at Barbara Hall park

below: … and the crowd helped to display it.

people holding the edge of a large pride rainbow flag

below: The rain kept coming and going but that deter the crowd.

a couple wearing clear rain ponchos, laughing, holding signs under the ponchos that say No hate in our city

below: There were a few signs that people had made including this one about Jesus.

two women, one holding a sign that says Jesus was gay. He didn't say Amen, he said Ahhh men!

below: “Church is for everyone” sums up the message of inclusion found in The Village community

two women in yellow rain jackets holding a sign that says Church is for everyone

a man with two rainbow flags in his hair and wearing a large rainbow flag over his back

below: A little levity, a little unseriousness.

a pink sign that says this is serious we're missing brunch

The above gathering was in response to a group called Christian Positive Space and an event described on their website as a ‘Freedom Repentance & Prayer March/Rally’ up Church Street. This group was gathering at Church & Esplanade at the same time as the crowd was listening to speeches in The Village.

Part of the backstory is that this group (CPS) was formed by David Lynn, a preacher who can often be found at Yonge & Dundas (He is also the founder of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries). Back in June he was arrested for disturbing the peace when he and some of his followers tried preaching at the corner of Church & Wellesley (with loudspeaker), just down the street from Barbara Hall Park.

One of the themes of Saturday’s march was the idea of sharing the streets, that Christians should be allowed to do their thing on the streets without being harassed. Part of David Lynn’s talk yesterday was about how Pride gets to close down streets so Christians should be able to as well. There was also mention about some grievance that he had with the people who organize the Jesus in the City parade.

The walk was planned to go at least as far as Wellesley even though one of the conditions for Lynn’s release from jail was that he was to be banned from visiting that area of the city.

below: A lot of left over signs. Questions are being asked about who paid for them (as well as the many T-shirts that were given out).

protest

musicians in a trailer behind a pink up truck, bible verse written on the side of the trailer,

below: Dictionary definition of godly = “devoutly religious; pious”

a woman wears a red T shirt that says make Canada righteous and godly again.

below: The People’s Party had a very visual presence at the march. I’m not sure which candidates were present. There is no mention of the walk on any social media for the candidates for both Spadina-Fort York (where the walk started) or Toronto Centre (where the walk was going to end). The candidate for Toronto Centre is actually from Hamilton (he’s also the VP of the party).

large white banner for the Peoples Party of Canada, in front of a protest on Church street

people with signs and placards at a protest

below: The police didn’t allow the walk to get past King Street.  They kept the two groups separated.

Christian protesters behind a line of police bikes

below: Members of the PSU (Public Service Unit) await their orders

member of p s u , public service unit, wait on Front Street in case they are needed at protest

below: The white van was one of a pair that parked by the double line of police bikes that were containing the protesters south of Front Street. PSU officers then lined the intersection to control pedestrian traffic.

members of PSU, public service unit, march into place during stand off between protest and counter protest

below: Most of the intersection of Front/Wellington and Church was blocked for quite a while. Pedestrians were not allowed to cross on the south side.

a police man escorts an older woman in a pink jacket who is using a walker, across an intersection

Overheard at the march: “Yoga is popularized witchcraft”. I was approached by a woman who struck up a conversation by telling me that she loved Trump. She said that one night God look down at her and told her to listen to Trump. So she did and she learned that he’s brilliant, that he loves blue collar workers, that he loves all races, and that he loves Israel. That’s why she now loves him and prays for him every day.

a group of wimen lined up against a wall, on the street, with hands in the air, some have signs that say Civil rights are for Christians too

At this point in time, the words that Lynn uses in these situations are irrelevant; actions speak louder than words.  His views on homosexuality are well known even if he proclaims to love all people, i.e. to love the sinner but not the sin. He can be cagey about the words and phrases he uses but just his presence at Church & Wellesley is a provocation and he should realize that. Trying to preach in The Village is just a stunt – it provides video to support his opinion that Christians are targeted and it gets him followers. There are much better, more constructive ways, to reach people.

David Lynn talks to his protesters, with signs and placards, behind a police line

people talking on the street

a man with his eyes closed, during a protest

a person stands above a crowd holding a trans flag while police hold the crowd back

below: A woman tries to persuade one member of the other side that being homosexual is a choice. She’d be happy to find him a beautiful woman to make him happy both in this life and in eternal life.

a middlw age woman in jean jacket and dark hair, holding a rosary in one hand, talks to counter protesters on the other side of a police line

below: Occasionally there was some dialogue between the two sides. On the protester side there were those who were marching because they honestly believed that they were spreading a message of Jesus’s love for everyone. Others were out to provoke, disrupt, or at least to play the victim.

one woman has her arm around the shoulders of another woman as they stand close to policemen blocking the street with their bikes

two sides of a protest speaking, while police keep them separated. Christian side is filming the conversation, counter protesters are wearing T shirts that say army of love

below: Also aligned with Christian Positive Space was Charles McVety who apparently was at the walk. He posted this on his facebook page (screenshot). Was he hoping for violence? Or was this just just another example of rewriting the story to suit your own purposes. Nobody was attacking anybody; there was no danger. McVety references “Tory’s mob” – John Tory chose to talk at the other rally instead of the CPS one.

a screenshot of a facebook post by Charles mcVety and some of the responses to it.

pro-pride counter protesters behind a police line

pro-pride counter protesters behind a police line

police line of bikes

below: Eventually David Lynn and his group backed down Church Street

David Lynn and another man help to back up a red pick up truck with a trailer holding a stage as they reverse down Church Street during a protest march in downtown Toronto

below: And proceeded to walk up Yonge Street instead.

police man on a bike in front of a group of protesters as they start to walk up Yonge street

two men walk in front of a banner that says Canadian Christians share our streets, walking up yonge street at front street, other protesters are behind the banner.

below: As the Christian group walked up Yonge Street, a group claiming to be Toronto Against Fascism blocked the way at King Street.

a toronto police officer talks to a group with faces partially covered and holding a banner that says Toronto against fascism

below: Once again there was a stand off with police holding the two groups apart. Eventually the “anti-fascists” moved over to the sidewalk. By then it was after 5 p.m. and nothing seemed to be happening. The groups didn’t appear to want to leave and the police didn’t seem to eager to try to disperse them. So I got on a streetcar and went for dinner.

a man on the phone looks out a window of an upper storey, overlooking a protest on the street below including a large trans flag in pale blue, pink, and white stripes

I learned later that the police let the protesters walk a bit farther up Yonge but they were stopped at Adelaide and/or Richmond before eventually being broken up.