Dudley Laws (1934-2011)

Dudley Laws was a Canadian civil rights activist whose rallying cry was “No justice, no peace.” Born in Jamaica, Laws emigrated to England and lived there for 10 years before coming to Canada in 1965. He worked in Toronto as a welder and mechanic, and ran a printing company. Involved in the civil rights movement in England, in Canada, he remained committed to advancing racial equality. In a series of shootings in the 1970s and 1980s, Toronto-area police officers harmed and killed several Black men. Laws organized rallies and protests to raise awareness about the mistreatment of Black Canadians by police, as well as in the immigration and prison systems. In 1988, Laws co-founded the Black Action Defence Committee, following the shooting by police of Lester Donaldson. The organization advocates for independent police oversight and an end to the “police-investigating-police” approach in investigations of police shootings in Toronto. He also helped establish the Black Youth Community Action Project, supporting changes to benefit incarcerated Black inmates. Laws never relented in his push for equality, joining in a meeting with the Black Action Defence Committee in his hospital room shortly before he died.

(Sources: Wikipedia, Toronto Star, CBC News)