A group of about 150 people gathered in Central Community Park for a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday afternoon.
It came just one day after hundreds of people took part in a similar anti-racism march from Chilliwack secondary to the same park on Friday, June 5.
Earlier, there were rumours that Saturday’s rally was going to be cancelled because of anti-protestors and looters who were planning on attending. Many did not come to the demonstration as they worried for their safety.
Despite the rumours, the rally went ahead and it was peaceful.
People wrote messages in chalk on the ground like “We are stronger together” and “No more lost brothers and sisters.”
The crowd chanted “Black lives matter,” “I will not be silent,” and “No justice, no peace.”
There were tears as several folks shared their own personal stories of racism. The crowd heard a story where one woman was told by a group of people go back to where she came from.
“I was born in Vancouver,” she said.
There were stories of violence, hatred, harassment and being laughed at.
“These stories, they hurt us even though they didn’t happen to us, because they are real,” said organizer Chasta Mcculloch.
In addition to the painful stories were uplifting words of encouragement and advice.
“Racism is destroying our society, it’s not healthy. We have to start loving everyone,” one man said.