A large crowd gathered outside the Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism and police violence on Sunday, May 31, 2020. (Marguerite Ethier/Twitter)

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

A protest against anti-black violence and racism took over the grounds in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday night.

Thousands attended the rally, which Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer said was peaceful.

The protest Sunday (May 31) comes after nearly a week of protests in the United States, which were sparked by a Minneapolis police officer seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe. Derek Chauvin was charged with murder Friday, and all four police officers present during Floyd’s death have been fired.

Floyd’s death was the latest in a series of confrontations, assaults and deaths of black Americans. On Feb. 23, Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was fatally shot in Georgia while jogging. On March 13, Breonna Taylor, 26, was killed during a nighttime “no-knock warrant” by plainclothes Louisville police officers. On May 25, a woman called the police on Christian Cooper to tell them he was “threatening [her] life” when Cooper asked the woman to put her dog on a leash in New York’s Central Park.

In Canada, protesters also want answers about Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a black woman fell to her death from a 24th-floor apartment when police responded to a 911 call. Korchinski-Paquet’s death is being investigated by the police watchdog.

Jacob Callender-Prasad, the organizer of the event, had called for Sunday rally to be peaceful.

“We do not need to riot in Vancouver, we do not need to destroy our community – that’s not needed here,” Callender-Prasad said in a video posted to the Black Vancouver Instagram page.

“It’s not the same as the United States. We don’t have cops going around causing damage here.”

Callender-Prasad has asked attendees to wear face masks and practice social distancing as COVID-19 precautions remain in effect in B.C. Organizers had expected about 1,000 to 2,000 people

Callender-Prasad said Sunday’s event would include a social media shoutout to U.S. President Donald Trump “to ask him to actually push the governor in Minnesota, to push them to charge those other three officers.”

Callender-Prasad said that although police brutality may be more prevalent south of the border, there are still issues in Canada to address.

“We still have instances in Canada of these unwanted and unfortunate events.”

The Vancouver chapter of Black Lives Matter said it was not the organizer of the event but stood in solidarity with those protesting.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

racismVancouver

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

Rescuers halt Coquihalla River search due to darkness, after reports of person in river

No information to indicate a child is involved, RCMP state, after this information surfaced on social media

Arrest at Abbotsford shopping centre

Man detained Thursday afternoon

Two Chilliwack women make weekly Crime Stoppers most wanted list

Ashley Felix and Raina McDonald wanted on unrelated issues

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Memorial set for one of three found dead at Langley house fire

Father wants the community to know the “amazing” person who’s been lost

Most Read