Rob Ford is still the mayor of Toronto—even after all the crack smoking, sexist comments, homophobic gestures, and racist remarks—and he likes to celebrate by carrying on the 19-year tradition of FordFest. FordFest started as a backyard BBQ by his late father. Now, it’s quite obviously (though the Fords deny this) a campaign event where loyalists of the so-called Ford Nation can line up for free burgers, meet the Fords, play in a bouncy castle, and evidently, assault LGBTQ protesters.
In what is a deeply unfortunate display of ignorance in Toronto, a group of LGBTQ protesters at FordFest were shouted at, had their signs ripped, and one allegedly (there’s a photo of it) had their throat grabbed by a man named Ron Banerjee. Ron is an anti-Muslim activist who sits at the helm of an organization called Canadian Hindu Advocacy, which sounds like it might actually have some legitimacy, but was debunked by the Grid in late 2012 as being an “army of none.”
While Ford Nation outsiders may chock up the seemingly endless series of gaffes, fuckups, secret video tapes, allegations of protesters being assaulted, and rehab stints as the end of mayor Rob Ford—the 1,500 or so people at FordFest have sent a message. Whether or not his legions of fans will be enough to propel RoFo through the election in October and back to the mayor’s office is another matter entirely. But obviously, people were very stoked to party with Robbie.
Either way, October’s still a ways away, so check out these photos we grabbed of the FordFest insanity. The party is apparently going to make another appearance or two in other areas of Toronto this year, so stay tuned.