It has been called Toronto’s Stonewall. The day 150 Toronto police officers carried out simultaneous raids on four gay bathhouses in Canada’s largest city. It was raided violently as the cops came armed with crowbars, billy clubs and sledgehammers.
The outrage sparked by Bathhouse Raided. Which led to the largest gay rights demonstrations in Canada. 35 years later much has changed and Canada has come a long way.
To mark the occasion a number of events will be planned for June’s Pride Month in Toronto. To read about some of the events planned go to Pride Toronto to honour the bathhouse raids
As reported by Now Magazine
John Burt was one of those arrested on the night that long-time gay leader George Hislop declared “will go down in infamy.” Burt says he had “no idea at the time what the cops were talking about” as they pushed him naked into the locker room along with about 80 others.
Burt’s family were Holocaust survivors, and he says he had an immediate “emotional connection to that and understood their terror for the first time.” He says the cops acted like thugs.
Read Toronto’s stonewall for background on the raid by James Dubro who witnessed the protests first hand.