The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement is alive and well in Fort McMurray.
Hundreds gathered at Jubilee Plaza and marched across Franklin Avenue on Saturday to protest anti-black racism in the community, the country, and around the world.
The event was organized after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, U.S. after a police officer pressed his knee on his neck for several minutes.
His death has led to protests, riots, and calls for change across North America.
Chants of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘No Justice, No Peace,’ were heard across downtown as those in attendance demanded equality, the end of police brutality, and for those to acknowledge that racism continues to be a problem here and across Canada.
“We have the most multicultural community in Canada and I always say that is one of our strengths in this region, but that can also be a weakness if we do not stand up,” said Dango Gogo, President of the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo. “You and I are the change and the change needs to happen now.”
– MIX 103.7 News (@Mix1037FMNews) June 6, 2020
People of all ages, races, and genders took part in the protest.
Several Caucasians took the time to speak who noted they’ve been privileged throughout their lives because of the colour of their skin.
Mayor Don Scott also took part, noting their needs to change.
“I need to do better, our council needs to do better, every level of government needs to do better.”
Among the crowd were those speaking out against the injustices many Indigenous people continue to deal with in the RMWB.
“We suffered through a great depression when the fire-ravaged through our community and the people rallied together, why can’t we stand together now,” said Chief Allan Adam. “When the flood came, we all stood together – why can’t we stand together now.”
Adam recently claimed he was assaulted by members of the Wood Buffalo RCMP in downtown Fort McMurray after they discovered he was driving with an expired license plate.
The ‘Black Lives Matter’ chants were also joined with ‘Indigenous Lives Matter.’