Dozens gather for Black Lives Matter march in Victoria
VICTORIA -- Dozens of activists have gathered in Victoria’s Centennial Square to take part in an anti-racism march and vigil for George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week.
Floyd’s death has prompted protests and riots in the United States and around the world.
On Sunday, thousands took part in an anti-racism protest at the Vancouver Art Gallery, waving signs and chanting support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
In Victoria, march participants are hoping to raise support and stand in solidarity with members of the black community both on the island and in the U.S.
“We are here to support the Black Lives Matter movement,” said the event’s organizer, Vanessa, who asked that her last name not be shared.
“This is a march, I want to empathize, and not a protest,” she said. “I just felt compelled to bring everyone together and have peace and support and advocate for black lives.”
Vanessa said the demonstration will take participants through the streets of downtown Victoria to the grounds of the B.C. legislature at 5 p.m., followed by a vigil for Floyd at 8 p.m.
“The feelings that I have are – it makes me sad more than angry,” said Vanessa.
“Unfortunately, with regards to the system itself, there’s not a whole lot we can do,” she said. “All we can do is voice and speak up for what we stand for.”
While dozens were gathered in Centennial Square Monday, more than 200 people had digitally RSVP’d to take part in the event on Facebook, with hundreds more saying they were interested in attending.
Participants are being asked to wear masks or face coverings and to practice physical distancing as much as possible, according to Vanessa.