Dudley Laws

Dudley Laws
Dudley Laws

Dudley Laws (May 7, 1934 – March 24, 2011) was a Canadian civil rights activist and executive director of the Black Action Defence Committee.

Laws was born in Saint Thomas Parish, Jamaica to parents Ezekiel and Agatha Laws, and was a brother to three other siblings.[1]

A welder and mechanic by trade, he worked at Standard Engineering Works until he emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1955 and became involved in defending the West Indian community. He formed the Brixton Neighbourhood Association and also joined the Standing Conference of the West Indies.[2] In 1965, he relocated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he worked as a welder and taxi driver. He joined the Universal African Improvement Association, a Garveyite organization.

Laws became prominent in the 1970s and 1980s as a critic of the then Metropolitan Toronto Police Force, due to a number of young black men being shot by police constables, as well as leveling other allegations of racist practices against the police. He has also been prominent as an advocate for immigrants and refugees and worked as an immigration consultant in the 1990s.

In 1988, he founded the Black Action Defence Committee following the police shooting of Lester Donaldson.

In later years, Laws maintained a better relationship with Toronto Police and was friends with two former Deputy Chiefs (Keith D. Forde and Peter Sloly).[3]

Laws died in Toronto of kidney disease on March 24, 2011 [4] and interred at Glenview Memorial Gardens.[5]


  1. ^ About Dudley Laws. dudleylawsday.com
  2. ^ Christian Cotroneo, "In pursuit of 'greatness'; Four local black mentors recognized for their years of grassroots effort in the community Organization honours work 'they've done in the past and continue to do,'" Toronto Star, December 19, 2005
  3. ^ Robertson, Ian. "Black activist Dudley Laws dead at 76". Toronto Sun. http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2011/03/24/17741846.html. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  4. ^ "Activist Dudley Laws passes away from kidney disease - CTV News". Toronto.ctv.ca. http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110324/dudley-laws-kidney-disease-110324/20110324/?hub=TorontoNewHome. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  5. ^ http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/2011/04/02/17853651.html

External links

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