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'Rally for Respect' attracts thousands of protesters

TORONTO, On.  – A crowd of thousands gathered to condemn Mayor Rob Ford’s cuts to social programs and services, April 9.

The “Rally for Respect” and march was organized by a number of labour, student and community groups, including The Toronto and York Region Labour Council.

The groups called for more public consultation by the mayor when it comes to reducing services, changes in public transit and increasing user fees.

“We’re a group coming together as a coalition, as a Respect Toronto coalition. So, there’s students groups involved in it; there’s different kinds of community groups; there’s labour bodies […] it’s the coming together of a lot of groups in Toronto,” organizer Preethy Sivakumar said.

The event began at 1 p.m., and was followed by a march to City Hall around 2 p.m.  Activists at the event told 680News they were trying to send strong message to the mayor.

“We don’t want to cut city services because we need them. I mean, this is our city,” said one protester. 

“The poor are getting poorer, both in housing and in food,” said another.

The event included speeches and entertainment from the Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers, and music from Age of the Enemy and The Bloody Five.

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