Demonstrations — Canada Cares

photo of woman holding sign

Title: Canadian youth protests American Imperialism in 1972.

Photographer: Graham Bezant

Date: April 14, 1972

Context: When U.S. President Richard Nixon was in Ottawa signing a pact that aimed to cut pollution in the Great Lakes, this young man and 200 other people demonstrated on Parliament Hill against U.S. involvement in the affairs of other countries, notably, Vietnam. Several months afterwards, in December of 1972, the United States dropped 20,000 tons of bombs on Hanoi and Haiphong, North Vietnam.

magnifying glassView larger image.

photo of crowd holding signs

Title: 2,000 protesters voice their opposition to the Persian Gulf War at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.

Photographer: Colin McConnell

Date: January 26, 1991

Context: On August 2, 1990 Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces invaded and quickly occupied Kuwait. In Canada, peace activists, appalled by the oil spills in the Gulf, protested Canada’s military support of the United States led forces set to defeat Hussein. Some Canadians thought that Canada was abandoning its traditional role as peacekeepers and that economic sanctions should be employed instead. The United Nation’s forces quickly defeated the Iraqi military in early 1991. Canadians remained in Kuwait acting as peacekeepers in the region until the 2nd Gulf War in 2003.

magnifying glassView larger image.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Canadians’ awareness of injustice throughout the world grew. Toronto citizens protested on the streets about issues as varied as American Imperialism in the 1960s to apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s and the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s.

photo of stacks of signs

Title: Anti-Vietnam War placards surround Toronto’s war memorial in 1969.

Photographer: Reg. Innell

Date: April 6, 1969

Context: Anti-Vietnam war demonstrators met at a war memorial on University Avenue to collect placards before marching to demonstrate at Toronto’s city hall. The Vietnam War was one of the first wars to be broadcast on television and Canadians followed it closely. The horrors of the war led many to oppose the American presence in Vietnam.

magnifying glassView larger image.

photo of people holding signs

Title: Anti-Tito protesters demonstrate in Toronto, 1965.

Photographer: Bob Olsen

Date: November 29, 1965

Context: Protesting Canada’s recognition of Tito, considered by many to be a dictator, members of the Serbian Youth Organization picketed the Yugoslav consulate in Toronto on November 29, 1965 as guests arrived to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the Yugoslav republic. The consulate was bombed on November 27th, 1965.

magnifying glassView larger image.

photo of crowd - all seated

Title: 7,500 mourners attend a ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square to pay respects to the Chinese students who died in Tainanmen Square.

Photographer: John Mahler

Date: June 10, 1989

Context: In 1989 students in China organized pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. On June 3-4, 1989, the protest was ruthlessly put down by the Chinese government resulting in the deaths of hundreds of citizens. The crackdown was roundly denounced internationally.

magnifying glassView larger image.

photo of minister holding sign

Title: Reverend Tom Anthony leads a demonstration against apartheid in 1978.

Photographer: Reg. Innell

Date: June 16, 1976

Context: Outside the CIBC’s head office, demonstrators protested that Canadian banks’ loans to South Africa encouraged the country’s racial segregation policy. In 1985 the Canadian government imposed economic measures against South Africa designed to end apartheid.

magnifying glassView larger image.

photo of people marching and holding signs, flags and pictures

Title: Protesters in Toronto commemorate the 1959 uprising against the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Photographer: Peter Power

Date: March 8, 1997

Context: In 1950 China claimed sovereignty over Tibet. Resistance to Chinese rule led to the 1959 National Uprising that resulted in the flight of the Dalai Lama from Tibet. The Toronto portion of this demonstration began in Queen’s Park and ended at the Chinese consulate on St. George Street. The next day the demonstrators began a 1,000 kilometre march to the United Nations to protest the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

magnifying glassView larger image.