Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday June 19, 2019
A city that was thirsty to celebrate its first major professional sports title in more than a quarter century erupted in joy Monday, with tens of thousands of fans jammed on to the streets of downtown Toronto for the championship parade.
The parade was more than two hours behind schedule as the buses carrying the Raptors were held up by the massive amount of fans on the streets. Just after 2:20 p.m., the national anthem was played at Nathan Phillips Square with the crowd singing O Canada as the wait continued for the Raptors.
It was followed by a flyby from the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Snowbirds demonstration team.
Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard came out last, serenaded with chants of “MVP, MVP, MVP!”
The fans then gave a rousing rendition of Queen’s “We Are The Champions” before the politicians began their speeches.
Mayor John Tory said the city would rename a part of Bremner Blvd. as Raptors Way. Tory also gave the team a key to the city, handing it to Leonard. (Hamilton Spectator)
Meanwhile, Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched through Hong Kong on Sunday to voice their opposition to legislation that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China where they could face politically-charged trials.
The massive demonstration took place three days before the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s government plans to bring the highly-contentious bill to the full legislature in a bid to win approval by the end of the month.
Police estimated the crowd at 240,000, but organizers said more than one million took part.
The protest was one of the largest in recent Hong Kong history, underscoring fears over China’s broadening footprint in the former British colony. It appeared to be even bigger than a massive pro-democracy demonstration in 2003 against a proposed national security law, according to Associated Press journalists who covered both events.
Late Sunday night, a group of demonstrators broke through barriers at government headquarters, where the march had ended. The crowd briefly pushed its way into the lobby, but police in riot gear used batons and pepper spray to push the protesters outside. Most had dispersed by 1 a.m., but police continued pushing protesters away for kilometres over a period of two to three hours.
There was still a strong police presence on streets throughout downtown Hong Kong as of 3 a.m. Monday. (Hamilton Spectator)