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100s participate in peaceful march against racism

BLM March Oakville
100s participate in peaceful march against racism
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Thomas Desormeaux

Thomas Desormeaux

Thomas Desormeaux is a reporter and writer who lives close to the border of Oakville and Mississauga. He has lived in the GTA for his entire life and is interested in global events, politics and government. follow on twitter @TommyDesormeaux

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The Oakville BLM March took place Thursday, June 4, 2020 and hundreds of people attended. The marchers met in the parking lot of the Oakville Central Library.

 

The original march that was planned by a group of Grade 10 students from Oakville Trafalgar High School was postponed, but this new one was set up to take its place. The new Black Lives Matter march was inspired in part by the old, although there was no affiliation.

 

BLM march Oakville

The group listening to the march organizers speak in the parking lot behind the Central Branch of the Oakville Library.

Several news organizations were there. Oakville politicians — including Town Councillors, Federal Minister Anita Anand and Mayor Rob Burton — joined in to listen to introductory speeches. Minister Anand made a speech herself, about the presence of racism in Canada. She addressed the need for everyone in Oakville to support the voices and perspectives of people of colour.

Preparation for the event included COVID-19 pandemic safety measures. Many people brought hand sanitizer and most wore masks. When the walk began, everyone walked up the library’s narrow back staircase in small, orderly groups.

 

The Oakville Black Lives Matter March begins as participants head across the Lakeshore Road Bridge towards Kerr Street.

As the group walked through Oakville, some people came out of their stores and homes to watch the demonstration as it passed by. Car after car slowed to honk in support the marchers and their message. A lot of the demonstrators were young people, there were adults too though, many parents with children.

 

Demonstrators held signs that read “Silence is Violence” and “I Can’t Breathe.” They chanted “no justice, no peace,” and “black lives they matter here” as they walked by store fronts and the fire station on Kerr Street. Then past the houses on Dorval.

 

As they marched, a few listened to music. At times people had fun together and laughed. Everyone was focused on the mission though, which was to highlight the bias and systemic racism in Canadian society.

One message: these things don’t just exist in the U.S.

 

BLM march Oakville

The group observed moments of silence at the end of their march to honour victims of racial crime and injustice.

Kadeem Austin was one of the event’s organizers. He and the others led the chants throughout the march. They ended the day by addressing the assembled participants.

“Enjoy the movement you just made guys,” Austin said.

All-in-all, it was an enthusiastic but deeply serious occasion.

BLM march Oakville

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