PHOTOS: Anti-racism rally in Chilliwack goes ahead, despite rumours of cancellation

Lakeisha Hewitt speaks during an anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
About 150 people came out to an anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
About 150 people came out to a peace anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
About 150 people came out to an anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
A woman speaks during an anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Lakeisha Hewitt (left) kisses her friend Virginia Jackson on the head during an anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
About 150 people came out to an anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
About 150 people came out to an anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
People share a tearful embrace during an anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Organizer Chasta Mcculloch speaks during an anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
A woman speaks during an anti-racism rally at Central Community Park in downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

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.

READ MORE: Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

READ MORE: PHOTOS w/ VIDEO: Peaceful Black Lives Matter march and rally in Chilliwack

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.


 

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Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
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