Chilliwack City Council said on June 5, 2020 that they support those who organize and attend Black Lives Matter marches in the city, but urge caution due to the pandemic. (Submitted)

Chilliwack council supporting protests against racism

City calls for participants to be cautious of distancing and to wear masks due to pandemic

The City of Chilliwack says they applaud organizers of two anti-racism events happening locally today and tomorrow.

A Chilliwack Black Lives Matter March is happening today (June 5), and a protest is happening at Five Corners tomorrow (June 6). The city sent out a statement of support, and reminders for caution, on Friday afternoon.

“Racism has no place in Chilliwack,” it reads. “As your City Council, we believe it is important that you know we will not tolerate racism. We recognize that our diversity is a strength, and we are working to create an inclusive community.

“Today and tomorrow, several Black Lives Matter protests are happening in Chilliwack. We understand these are intended to be safe and peaceful demonstrations and we applaud their desire to stand up again racism.”

READ MORE: ‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

But we are also in the middle of a pandemic, and they caution people to take it seriously as they demonstrate.

“Recently, the Provincial Health Officer said that the people that joined the protest in Vancouver put their health at risk,” the city says. “She then encouraged anyone who might be demonstrating to continue to keep a safe distance, wear a mask, and recognize the importance of not allowing the virus to spread.

“Standing up to injustice is one of the most important things we can do together as a community. However, we know that each individual will need to carefully consider their health and the health of others first.

“To those that join the demonstrations this weekend, thank you for being peaceful and respectful. Please take care of your health, maintain appropriate physical distancing, and monitor yourself closely for symptoms for the next two weeks. Stay safe and stand together, Chilliwack.”

Today’s march starts at Chilliwack secondary school at 4 p.m. and moves to Central Community Park. It will include speakers, and the RCMP have been invited to join the march and keep the peace, by organizers.

The event on June 6 is at Five Corners downtown beginning at 3 p.m.

READ MORE: Racism wasn’t dealt with properly by school, says Chilliwack graduate


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

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