Thousands gather for Black Lives Matter rally in Victoria
Organizer says it's an opportunity to showcase voices from the Black community
Thousands of people gathered at Centennial Square in downtown Victoria Sunday evening for a vigil and peace rally for Black lives.
The rally began around 4 p.m. with an opening led by Indigenous leaders and community members. Throughout the event, crowds could be heard chanting "Black Lives Matter."
One of the organizers, Pamphinette Buisa, says it's an opportunity to showcase voices from the Black community.
"It's the first time that I have stepped foot publicly showing my face in this situation," Buisa said. "Now is a time for Victoria and the whole world to unify and that's what we're trying to do today."
Many supporters are wearing black and white, holding hundreds of signs. There is a sign language interpreter, to translate the various speakers addressing the crowd, giving testimonials and leading chants <a href="https://twitter.com/CHEK_News?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CHEK_News</a> <a href="https://t.co/Ahi5PmDSRc">pic.twitter.com/Ahi5PmDSRc</a>—@Rebeccas_Laws
Organizers asked those attending to wear masks and to respect physical distancing measures. Participants were also instructed to wear white as a sign of peace.
Victoria police tweeted that Pandora Avenue was closed between Douglas and Government streets to allow room for the rally and to expect traffic disruptions in the area around Centennial Square.
The Victoria rally is the latest in a series of demonstrations that took place across British Columbia over the weekend including in Prince George, Kelowna, Nanaimo and Sechelt.
With files from CHEK News