Protesters take a knee in Montreal in support of Black Lives Matter
MONTREAL -- Protests in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement continued on the Island of Montreal on Sunday.
WEST ISLAND TAKES A KNEE
More than 500 protesters gathered at Valois Park in Pointe Claire Sunday morning to take a knee, the iconic gesture in solidarity with those fighting against systemic racist violence.
The “West Island Takes a Knee” was organized to show support for Black, Indigenous and people of colour.
"When we talk about the Black community and and the issues with the Black community, a lot of people right away go to policing, police brutality, graffiti, gangs, etcetera, " said organizer Allison Saunders. "In the West Island, that's not quite the same type of racism we face here and we just don't talk about it. A friend of mine told me we're invisible Blacks here, and that's kind of what it feels like. We just blend in to this town. I'm done blending in and I think it's important for my kids to get that rich tapestry of voices."
“We can not change what happened, but we can definitely change what happened next,” said one speaker at the event. “I’m really hopeful that the city will engage in a dialogue.”
'OCCUPY THE HOOD' PROTEST
In the locale where the Tam Tams can normally be heard sending rhythm into Mount Royal Park, peaceful protesters gathered with signs of support for the anti-racism movement.
The event was a peaceful demonstration aimed against systemic racism and police brutality. Organizer Sheida Rababian said $12,000 has been raised which will be donated to various community organizations.
Rababian said the event marked a chance to mourn and reflect on the killing of George Floyd in the United States and the waves of anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests that have swept the world in its wake.
"We're here to represent our culture and remind people we're not defined by our pain," she said. "Throughout history we've lived so much and have always been able to create art. This is the youth taking our place and saying we want a different outcome for the future and the next generation."
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante will hold a news conference on Monday to respond to the report on systemic racism in the city's police force that was generated by the municipal office of public consultation.