PHOTOS: Nurses protest violence in workplace with drive-by rally across Fraser Valley

A supporter waves on the honking vehicles as they exit Mission Memorial Hospital. Patrick Penner / Mission Record.A supporter waves on the honking vehicles as they exit Mission Memorial Hospital. Patrick Penner / Mission Record.
A total of 18 vehicles participated, bearing protest messages, balloons and pink ribbons. Patrick Penner / Mission Record.A total of 18 vehicles participated, bearing protest messages, balloons and pink ribbons. Patrick Penner / Mission Record.
The motorcade started at Chilliwack General Hospital at 1 p.m., arrived at Mission Memorial Hospital at 2:30, and then drove to Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Patrick Penner / Mission Record.The motorcade started at Chilliwack General Hospital at 1 p.m., arrived at Mission Memorial Hospital at 2:30, and then drove to Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Patrick Penner / Mission Record.
Patrick Penner / Mission Record.Patrick Penner / Mission Record.
Patrick Penner / Mission Record.Patrick Penner / Mission Record.

Nurses and their families cruised in a motorcade across the Fraser Valley today, looping around three hospitals to protest violence in the workplace.

The protest, dubbed the Motorcade for Violence Awareness, was organized to broadcast the levels of violence that nurses currently face doing their jobs.

“A bunch of us nurses in the Fraser Valley have been experiencing increased violence in the workplace during COVID,” said Chilliwack nurse, Meghan McCusker. “It was a big issue that everybody was working towards solutions for before COVID. And since COVID, it hasn’t gotten better, it’s gotten worse.

“We want to take a stand and support our colleagues that have been injured recently.”

They set off early afternoon, first for Chilliwack General Hospital at 1 p.m., arriving at Mission Memorial Hospital at 2:30 p.m. (traffic slowed their schedule), before finishing at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

A total of 18 vehicles participated, bearing protest messages written across their windshields, decked out in balloons and pink ribbons, and all honking their horns as they made their presence known at the hospitals.

The protest was prompted by two recent violent attacks on the same unit of Abbotsford Regional Hospital, said Parveen Gill, an organizer and nurse.

“It was just getting worse. There’s been a number of incidents that have been happening all across the Lower Mainland – some are hitting the media, some are not,” Gill said.

She said the British Columbia Nurses’ Union has been vocal about the level of violence nurses are facing, but this protest was organized locally and was not affiliated with the union.

“It was a really good turnout,” Gill said, who said nurses were seen giving waves support at all the hospitals.

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