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Posts Tagged ‘etobicoke’

“Today is the 85th anniversary of the Christie Pits Riot, a pivotal moment in the fight against fascism and Nazism in Toronto and Canada in the early 1930s.

The riot saw Jews and Italians take direct action in self-defence against a Toronto “Swastika Club” that was displaying swastika banners and inciting hatred during a baseball game in the Christie Pits park.

Their courage in standing up to these racists helped to stop the growth of Swastika Clubs and represented a serious setback for the city’s fascists and Nazis at a time when antisemitism was dangerously on the rise.

This terrible history of overt antisemitism in the city and country is mostly forgotten now, though a close friend of mine came across a striking example of it in newspaper archives that occurred within my own community, Long Branch, also in 1933.

Long Branch is now a fully developed part of Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto that borders Mississauga in the west of the metropolis.

But in 1933 it was a separate, sleepy community that had many cottagers and summer vistors in it due to its lake front aspect and its famous beaches.

As the Globe and Mail article relates, the municipality of Long Branch decided to ban all Jews not from Long Branch (and there were likely not many of those) from its beaches. Despite the obvious racism at work the town’s Deputy Reeve Charles Brock tried to claim it had nothing to do with race!

This history of racism and resistance resonates again now especially with a US administration openly sympathetic to white supremacist narratives,  the rise of the far right across Europe and the growth of homegrown fascist and racist groups in Toronto and Canada.”

– Michael Laxer, ““Ban on Jews” – A 1933 antisemitic beach edict in Long Branch reminds of Toronto’s past on the anniversary of the Christie Pits Riot.The Left Chapter, August 16, 2018.  

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“Bailiff Is Hanged In Effigy In Etobicoke,” Toronto Globe. July 21, 1933. Page 10.

Scene in front of the home of Fred Braithwaite, Albany Avenue, Etobicoke, yesterday afternoon, when a crowd of over 400 sympathizers were on hand, with the avowed intention of upsetting the proceedings. Although he had announced that sufficient police would be on hand to see the affair properly through, the bailiff failed to put in an appearance. Had he done so, he would have been confronted with an effigy of himself suspended from a noose in front of the house, as pictured above.

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