'People can still stand up': Hundreds rally at the Sask. legislature to support Black Lives Matter movement
REGINA -- Hundreds gathered at the Saskatchewan Legislature Tuesday morning, to support the Black Lives matter movement, and in response to the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.
Libin Salad was one of four people who organized the rally.
“Seeing the protests across the United States and Canada, it kind of was the straw that broke the camel’s back and we decided that something really needed to be done,” said Salad. “There is racism in Regina. I don’t think people can completely understand that. The majority of us do brush it off.”
Protester Whitney Walker-Ross said she has also experienced racial profiling. She attended the rally to be an example for everyone in the province.
“Just because (the violence isn’t) necessarily happening right here in Saskatchewan itself, that people can still stand up and make a difference,” said Walker-Ross.
Many of those in attendance were there to show support for those in the community who have experienced racism. Artist Zoe Stradski created a chalk drawing of George Floyd, as a way to lend her support. It was at the centre of the rally.
“I wanted to do something to contribute to the cause and show what it means to be anti-racist,” said Stradski.
The rally began at 11 a.m. Organizers had face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves to hand out, and were encouraging physical distancing. However, not everyone stood at least 6 feet from one another.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the Regina Police Service said it's joining others in “condemning those actions and calling for an end to racism.”
“We are all hurting right now,” RPS said in a statement on twitter. “The Regina Police Service remains committed to leading our community towards a positive future.”
The protest comes as the War Memorial outside the Legislature was vandalized overnight. Premier Scott Moe denounced the vandalism over twitter.
“Peaceful protests are always welcome at our legislature,” the premier said in his tweet. “Vandalism is not acceptable.”
The police have asked anyone with information to come forward. Organizers acknowledged the vandalism, and stated it wasn’t anyone who was part of the protest.