THUNDER BAY – Across North America rallies in support of Black Lives Matter are being held. There is a rally planned in Thunder Bay on Friday at Waverly Park at 3:00 PM.
NetNewsLedger reached out to Mayor Bill Mauro for comment. Mayor Bill Mauro tells NetNewsLedger, “I convened a call yesterday with a couple of senior admin people, the Chief of Police and the Medical Officer of Health.
“I asked the question yesterday if we had been asked for, approved or denied a permit to this group. The answer I received back this morning was no.”
“Issues related to congregating are prescribed, by provincial order.
“As a community, we all share a concern related to physical distancing or lack thereof and the potential for an increase in Covid-19 cases and hope that if the rally does go forward it will be done as safely as possible”.
Thunder Bay Police Service Chief Sylvie Hauth states:
“It is impossible to be silent when faced with an overwhelming issue that affects all of us. Racism is real and we all have a responsibility to face it and to take real actions to address it. There is no place in this society for violence and racist behaviours. There is no place for silence on this matter.
“We stand today, and every day, in solidarity with our community and most importantly, with those who experience racism and discrimination in all forms. My commitment to you is to remain transparent and accountable in all that we do as a Police Service. To Serve and Protect are empty words if we don’t make the effort to engage with all groups and communities here in this city. We are committed to continuing our work to build public trust.
“The Thunder Bay Police Service respects the rights of all people in this community to have a voice and to be heard. We have reached out to the event organizers and support their goal of making this event a peaceful protest. That line of communication is critical to ensuring everyone’s health and safety and we are very appreciative of the organizers’ efforts in this regard. Our purpose in attending the protest on Friday will be to ensure public safety.”
On the Facebook page for the Black Lives Matter Protest, organizers say, “In our community I’d like to think we honour diversity, equality and individuality. As you have seen in the news there is a lot of injustice and corruption within the government and police force in the United States but Canada isn’t innocent either, racism is very much well and alive here among many of our communities. We all need to come together and be present for our black community and acknowledge the systemic oppression within our own government and police force and let it be known we demand to see a change. I encourage you to acknowledge your privilege and use it to amplify black voices, don’t speak over them. Join us in this peaceful protest and help make a difference.”