Calgary to join other cities in nationwide protest to defund the police

Thousands came out to the Black Lives Matters rally and candlelight vigil at Olympic Plaza in Calgary on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Calgarians can take part in a nationwide protest on Saturday in support of the movement to defund the police.

Defund YYC and Calgary’s Black Lives Matter chapter, with the support of Idle No More, are organizing the local rally that will take place as demonstrators in other cities across the country — including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, London and Moncton — rally in unison.

“The world is changing fast and the systems that are in place are not evolving at the same pace as humanity,” said organizers in a statement. “We must keep putting pressure on those in power to make swift change that immobilizes racism at every interaction to alleviate all oppressions.”

Calgary’s march calling on the reallocation of police funds will coincide with the Stonewall March and Rally organized by Rights for All Refugees in Canada to support LGBTQ rights. Organizers of the weekend rally said attention will also be given to the Land Back movement.

“We believe all Black lives matter and will amplify (transgender) voices as well as other folx on the LBGTQ2S+ spectrum,” said organizers.

“Land Back is an integral movement with the aim to end colonialism which supports antiBlackness and oppression. The defund the police movement aims to reorganize society to support humanity rather than simply interrupt crime caused by the lack of community support.”

The protest begins at 1 p.m. at Sien Lok Park, located at Riverfront Avenue and 1 Street S.W.

Organizers are asking participants to wear a mask, practise physical distancing and use hand sanitizer.

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