Carolina Pannenbecker, 20, of Lacombe, holds up a sign that says, ‘White silence = violence” at an anti-racism protest in Innisfail. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Carolina Pannenbecker, 20, of Lacombe, holds up a sign that says, ‘White silence = violence” at an anti-racism protest in Innisfail. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Peaceful protest against racism coming to Lacombe

Lacombe Against Racism coming to LMC park on June 19

A peaceful protest against racism is coming to Lacombe.

Ubuntu: Mobilizing Central Alberta is hosting Lacombe Against Racism on Friday, June 19 at 6 p.m. at Lacombe Memorial Centre Park in order to raise awareness in the community. Lacombe resident and Ubuntu Organizer Diuelita Datus said the event is about bringing the conversation to Lacombe.

“We have tried to find local people as much as possible to add to the conversation. You will hear from a lot of Lacombe folks on Friday. I am excited,” she said.

Organizer Sadia Khan said there will be plenty of youth voices speaking in Lacombe and the momentum of the entire movement in central Alberta is gaining steam.

“I remember a few weeks back in Red Deer and the energy was great, but by the time we got to Friday and Saturday — there was over 700 people. The momentum has picked up,” she said.

Datus added Ubuntu has received several requests from other towns wanting to have their own peaceful protests.

“It helps continue the conversation and we have had so many requests to come to other small towns. Everyone is saying come to this town, we need to have this conversation and we need our kids to hear this,” she said.

Khan said it is important for central Albertans to remember Black Lives Matter is not simply a hashtag.

”Keeping those conversations at the forefront is very important because we don’t want these conversations to be hijacked by individuals who are not as aware,” she said.

The event in Lacombe will feature personal stories — many of which are from Lacombe residents.

“We will have people from different backgrounds, industries and ages talking about how life has been for them living in Lacombe. The idea is to listen and start better conversations,” Datus said

Khan stressed that this event is not about creating divisiveness in the community.

“Racism affects everyone, so we come and amplify the voices and point out this exists, this is what we are here for and it is not about creating moments of us verses them,” she said.

Datus said organizers set the tone of peace and safety at these events.

“We also have housekeeping rules telling people to stay the correct distance apart, wear masks, sanitize and if you are not feeling up to it — you can support us by watching on Facebook or through social media,” she said.

“We set the tone on how to be safe while also also allowing people to exercise their constitutional rights.”

Khan said Ubuntu has reached out to local businesses to support the movement and Datus challenged local officials to attend.

“I would like to challenge City Council to come out and support. I would like people to come out and support and add their voices to the conversation. I would like faith communities — Lacombe is known for its churches — to reach out and say how can we get in on this movement,” she said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

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