87-M strongly condemns attack on photojournalist and union activist Stan Behal

A still from Toronto Sun video footage shows an unidentified protester at an Aug. 11 rally attacking Sun photographer Stan Behal. Screenshot

 

Journalists are not the enemy and Unifor Local 87-M strongly condemns the assault on one of our own that took place over the weekend at Toronto City Hall.
 

Stan Behal, an award-winning, longtime Toronto Sun photojournalist and respected union activist, was attacked while covering a protest on August 11.
 

The protesters were there for a counter-rally against a group called the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam. The hate group announced they were going to hold a rally in Toronto, but did not show up. The counter-protest was held as planned, representing various anti-racist and Antifa (anti-fascist) groups.
 

Behal was on assignment at the rally when he was attacked by an unidentified protester, who violently struck Behal, unprovoked.

 

Who is this man? According to witnesses, he allegedly assaulted veteran Toronto Sun

photojournalist Stan Behal at City Hall Aug. 11. If you know who he is contact

Toronto Police 52 Division or Crimestoppers.

 

While some protesters can be heard in Toronto Sun video footage saying “what the heck” and “don’t do that, man” others appeared to justify the assault saying “you are f—ing harassing us.”
 

“Journalists are not ‘the enemy of the people' — we provide an important function in a democratic society,” said Behal. “Journalists should be allowed to perform our work without fear and in safety. We strive to make positive changes by reporting the news professionally and independently.”
 

Behal is a highly respected photojournalist who has spent the last 35 years of his career at the Toronto Sun. He is a three-time National Newspaper Award winner and a World Press Photo Award winner.
 

He is also the chair of the Toronto Sun union and serves as a vice-president on the executive board of Unifor Local 87-M.
 

Local 87-M President Paul Morse says attacks on journalists are unacceptable, no matter the political ideology of the perpetrators.

“Unifor stands against hate and we stand against attacks on the press,” said Morse. “An attack on one is an attack on all.”

Unifor Local 87-M represents the majority of newspaper workers across Southern Ontario and Unifor represents 315,000 workers across Canada, including 12,000 media workers.