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Second Black Lives Matter protest this month

Black Lives Matter March in Oakville
Second Black Lives Matter protest this month
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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 second Black Lives Matter protest this month happened in Downtown Oakville on Saturday, June 13, 2020.

Demonstrators met in the back parking lot of the central branch of the Oakville Public Library. They then marched east on Lakeshore before turning north to a meeting point at George’s Square for speeches.

Black Lives Matter March in Oakville

Speakers discussed what it is like growing up as a person of colour in a primarily white community. They talked about the fears of being targeted by law enforcement officers that they all experience.

 

The group then observed a long moment of silence while listening to extensive list of names of black Canadians and Americans killed by the police.

Black Lives Matter March in Oakville

Protestors kneel while observing a moment of silence.

“There are 300 more of these I could read,” said one teenage speaker.

Black Lives Matter March in Oakville

The March was organized and led by young members of the Black Lives Matter movement along with  Oakville High School students. The team included the teenagers who had originally planned to hold a March two weeks ago, before cancelling it and transferring leadership.

Black Lives Matter March in Oakville

Demonstrators chanting on Lakeshore Road.

After George’s Square, the demonstration wove back through the streets of downtown Oakville and arrived at Lakeside Park, surprising many park goers.

Once again the protesters circled around a gazebo for speeches and cheers. These were to support the rights of Canadian peoples of colour and condemn anti-black racism in all it’s forms.

Leaders discussed the Town’s history of being mostly white in demographics as well as past incidents of Ku Klux Klan meetings in 20th century Oakville.

In the 1930’s, 70 plus members of KKK attempted to stop a white woman from marrying a black man. They burned a cross, abducted the woman and threatened the man.

 

Marching through the affluent, Lakeshore area of Oakville showed that the Black Lives Matter movement reaches Canadians all across the country and that the issues it aims to fight exist everywhere.

 

Most protesters were young, but there were also many adults with children as well as people in their thirties. The Oakville demonstrators consisted of all different races. White supporters said they were there to serve as “allies” for the people of colour.

 

Practically everyone wore masks while marching and attempted to physically distance as best they could.

 

Police did not observe or participate in the march but blocked off roads to traffic as it moved through Oakville.

Demonstrators agreed that this was an important moment in the history of civil rights. There will likely be more marches and demonstrations in the near future.

Downtown Oakville Black Lives Matter March 2020

This story was produced in collaboration with journalist and photographer Ross Cadranel.

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