Montreal (CityNews) – Montreal is looking to host its third weekend of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Here in Pointe Claire we actually do have racial issues that have gone untalked about for decades. So why not just look to my community?” said Allison Saunders, a Pointe-Claire activist.
Pointe Claire is one of the parks where hundreds have taken a knee against racism and police brutality, showing their support for the Black community.
“Yes, there’s space for riots and demonstrations. Is that space here? No. So what does it look like here? Maybe it’s this.”
As thousands protest racism and police brutality across Quebec, smaller communities are demonstrating in a different way.
On June 7, about 1,000 people took a knee in solidarity at Loyola park in NDG. A similar event is happening on Montreal’s West Island on Sunday.
“It allows people who are not comfortable in a big setting to come in a smaller setting – but also in the same breath, in the same light of supporting the cause,” said Denburk Reid, organizer of NDG demonstration.
The killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis has sparked protests across the world, forcing many to confront the realities of racism in their own communities. Organizers say being part of the change means engaging your neighbours in smaller ways.
“I don’t think that many of them were engaged in the conversation because it’s not happening here in the same ways,” said Saunders. “Because I’m raising kids here and I want them to feel comfortable and seen in this community. That’s why I think it’s important for our neighbours to start having this conversation.”
“We have the chance to sit back, to reflect, to think. We say coming out of this, there’s going to be a new norm. Let’s make sure that one of the new norms is the end of social injustice and racism,” added Reid.
West islanders can take a knee at park Valois Sunday at 12:15 p.m., and masks and social distancing are mandatory.