'It is real, it is happening': local Black Lives Matter rally to highlight local issues
REGINA -- Black Lives Matter rallies have been organized in Regina in solidarity with similar events across Canada and in the United States.
The rallies are in response to the killing of George Floyd by a police office in Minneapolis.
Eman Osman, an organizer of one of the local rallies, said although racism often looks different in Canada than it does in the States, it still exists.
“We need the community to tell us that black lives do matter,” Osman said. “Racism shouldn’t be something we’re talking about in 2020 in all honesty.”
The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCOS) said racism is embedded in the fabric of our society.
“Here in Saskatchewan, the people who are seen at the bottom - who the hierarchy’s been creating at the bottom - is Indigenous people,” Rhonda Rosenberg, the executive director of MCOS, said. “We see it in incarceration rates, we see it in social services, children in care and in wealth differentials.
Rosenberg said there is racism against black people in Saskatchewan, as well.
She said the calls for change in the U.S. and across Canada are a clear sign that people are fed up following George Floyd’s death, which she said similarly echos so many others.
“I think it’s really stirred up people in ways that say ‘we cannot let this happen anymore. We need change and we need systemic change,’” she said.
That’s why Osman is organizing a rally in Regina on Tuesday, in hopes of seeing some local change.
“I think it’s very important to have black voices and to have inclusion, Include your black community leaders and ask them what they need,” Osman said. “The first step is acknowledging the fact that it is there, it is real, it is happening.”
Osman’s rally will take place on Tuesday at 11 a.m. in front of the Legislative Building. She said they will have face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves to hand out, and they will be encouraging physical distancing.
A similar rally, organized by a different group, will take place on Sunday. The two rallies support each other, and both are open to anyone who wants to attend.