Central Albertans protested peacefully at Red Deer City Hall supporting #BlackLivesMatter movement on June 1, 2020. (File photo by Advocate staff)

UPDATED: Anti-racism protests set for Friday and Saturday in Red Deer

Masks and social distancing encouraged

Central Albertans will continue to unite against racism with two more protests — one Friday and one Saturday — in downtown Red Deer.

On Monday, more than 100 people attended a peaceful protest outside City Hall.

Angie Chinguwo, who is helping to organize Friday’s noon-hour protest at City Hall, said a large, and culturally diverse group intends to come out, and that’s great.

“We know there are good people out there, but it’s overwhelming to know that so many people are behind us and are standing with us,” said Chinguwo, 33.

“Having different people come together and say we can do this together as a community — that’s powerful. It adds value to it.”

She hopes the protests will help educate people about the impact of racism.

“Racism is happening in our streets. It’s happening in our boardrooms. It’s happening in our schools. It’s time to bring change to our community and make it a better place for everybody, so everybody feels at home.”

Chinguwo organized the rally with her friend, Charity Chinamora, 34.

As black women, they believed it was time to stand up and talk about social justice issues.

“It does affect our families, our friends, and I think we have to raise awareness within of our community,” said Chinguwo, who has lived in Red Deer for a year and has experienced the sting of racism.

She said racism may be subtle at times, but it is still felt long after walking away. For the most part, however, Red Deer has been a good community to live in, she said.

“We can’t emphasize enough that this is going to be a peaceful protest. Violence would defeat the whole purpose of having a protest. It’s to bring people together, not divide people,” said Chinguwo, who has invited Red Deer RCMP to attend to ensure everyone is safe.

Related:

Protests large but peaceful after new charges in Floyd case

Solidarity together: Central Albertans protest in Red Deer against racism

Cheryl-Jaime Baptiste, who helped organize Monday’s protest, as well as one this Saturday, said there were “little to no naysayers” at Monday’s event and she doesn’t anticipate problems this weekend.

“It was beyond peaceful,” Baptiste said of Monday’s demonstration.

She said as a young Indigenous woman who has experienced racism, she hopes the movement keeps going.

“I don’t see this as the latest trend, as some people do. With how things are now, if nobody does anything, it’s always going to be the same. I have younger siblings and I think about them all the time.”

Saturday’s protest starts at noon outside City Hall.

All the organizers encourage protesters to wear masks and follow social distancing rules.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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