Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Source: screenshot from Freedom4Canada Facebook livestream, edited to protect identities of children
“1 Million March 4 Children” rallies and marches were held across Canada on Wednesday with the goal of eliminating Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) curriculum and gender inclusive policies from schools. Some cities, like Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver, Kamloops, St. John’s, and Prince George saw large counter-protests from those who support the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and in some cases outnumbered the anti-trans activists. Some did not.
In Calgary, where local media reports that the anti-trans protesters outnumbered the counter-protesters, a disturbing scene unfolded. The protest’s organizer, Mahmoud Mourra, stood on a low concrete wall, cycling through people, including children, who he encouraged to speak to the crowd.
As one young boy waits to come up to the microphone, Mourra says, “Those guys, they want to tell my son or my daughter for she can be he and now they come with the new term she can be it, a cat or a dog.” Mourra, who was charged by Calgary Police with anti-2SLGBTQ+ hate motivated criminal harassment from online incidents in June, then characterizes the 2SLGBTQ+ community and their allies as "unacceptable, confusing, mentally ill."
The boy, who is around six or seven years old, tells Mourra he wants to be something “productive and nice” when he grows up.
“I’m going to be listening and paying attention to every word he says. Because why? Because we do listen to our kids… We listen to them, they tell us what they want to be. Not whatever those guys accuse us of,” Mourra says.
The crowd is all smiles as the boy takes the microphone: "I'd like to say that the gays are psychopaths and we're not psychopaths."
The child’s words are met with cheers, whoops, laughs and applause.
The boy, louder this time, forcefully says: "The gays, they are disgusting!" His words are met with even more cheers, whoops, laughs, and applause.
Mourra takes the microphone and tells the boy that he should respect gay people. “The only thing we ask them, not to be involved in our personal lives. Not to be involved in our kids' lives. Not to be involved in our businesses because what you want to do, it's no one's business what you want to do."
The same young child was observed throughout the livestream holding a small sign which reads, “Kick the gays out of our country” beside a Canadian flag.
The organizers often claim that they, and these protests, are not hateful. The website for one of the groups which spearheaded these protests – Hands Off Our Kids – says their movement does “not fight back against the LGBTQ community” and that it is “rooted in love and care to all children and their freedom of thought control.”
Source: screenshot of the Hands Off Our Kids website FAQ section
Until recently, Mourra was listed as a spokesperson for Hands Off Our Kids. An archive of the site from September 14, 2023 lists his name alongside Ottawa’s Kamel El-Cheikh, Toronto’s Dr. Bahira Abdulsalam and David Krayden. Mourra’s name was removed prior to the September 20 protests, however it is not clear why.
Their website includes a Code of Conduct which requests participants “avoid using hate speech, offensive language, or discriminatory remarks.” The Code further states, “Do not damage property, public or private, during the protest.”
Hands Off Our Kids spokesperson David Krayden, who acted as emcee for the Ottawa protest, posted a video to X (formerly Twitter), with the caption “A little bit of flag stomping today as not all the union protestors have left the Parliament Hill in Ottawa as the speeches take place on Wellington Street.” The video shows a Pride flag being stomped on by a group of protest participants, met with resounding cheers from the crowd.