It was quite a sight to behold. Thousands of Winnipeggers gathered at the Manitoba Legislative Building and marched to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights at The Forks. Their route very literally drawing a line from the provincial government to a national monument designed to teach us about the many times human rights were denied and the consequences of that denial.
For the better part of a half an hour, Broadway Avenue was occupied across six lanes, the wide median, and the sidewalks, by around fifteen thousand supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.
George Floyd is not the first Black man to be killed by police. He isn’t even the one hundred and first. There is a long and painfully clear history of systemic racism that exists in society (not just in the USA, I might add) which has led to the boiling over of tensions. Floyd’s death is quite obviously tragic on it’s own. That said, the blatant way he was killed, in daylight, in front of so many witnesses was the drop of water that broke the dam.
George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA on May 25th, 2020 in broad daylight by Minneapolis Police Officers while onlookers stood helpless to intervene.
For nearly 9 minutes Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while he lay face-down and motionless on the street. Despite Floyd alerting the officer more than a dozen times that he was unable to breathe, Chauvin did not release pressure. Floyd was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The rally held June 5th, 2020 in Winnipeg, Manitoba was a show of solidarity with people of colour, in this case Black people specifically. While it remained respectful and quite peaceful, the anger and the energy was certainly evident in the signs, chants, and faces of those marching.
Winnipeggers should be proud for standing up and marching against a system which breeds inequality, all while maintaining a very open and positive demeanour of love and understanding. It is very easy to allow the fear and anger to lead to hate and destruction, particularly given the enormous stakes. One would hope that all demonstrations could follow this blueprint, and while the movement is not over, one would also hope this was enough to show just how many people support the Black Lives Matter initiative, and not only in the USA. It’s a global movement now. It can not be silenced, no matter how the politics and media coverage play out.
The WPG Magazine stands with the Black community, and all communities. If there is a way for us to help your cause, please, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. We welcome the discussion, and the opportunity to get involved.