Hundreds of people march peacefully in Moncton at anti-racism rally
More than 350 people marched peacefully through downtown Moncton shouting 'Black lives matter'
More than 350 people marched peacefully through downtown Moncton shouting slogans like 'Black lives matter' and 'No justice, no peace.'
The march started at Victoria Park, where participants knelt for two minutes of silence to pay respect to George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died last week after pleading for air as a police officer pressed a knee into his neck.
Nellys Kalgora, one of the organizers behind the march, is a Grade 12 student at École L'Odyssée in Moncton.
"As a person of colour living in a small town such as Moncton I decided to do this to support my people and to speak for them because I know some people like me might be afraid to speak out," she said.
Kalgora said she has experienced racism and wants people to know it exists.
"Let's say I go to a store, I would go to the mall with my friend who is not black and I will be followed the whole time," said Kalgora.
Kalgora said when she saw people protesting police brutality in the United States and around the world, she wanted to participate.
"Just because its not happening here, doesn't mean we don't have to do anything," said Kalgora. "I believe the small thing like this I'm doing can make a bigger change."
Organizers handed out masks to participants who wanted one, and reminded people to physical distance. The group left Victoria Park in groups of 10, and walked along the side walk. RCMP officers were stationed along the route, stopping traffic to allow the march to pass uninterrupted.
Some drivers honked and waved in support as the march passed by.
At city hall, Kalgora and other speakers addressed the crowd, talking about how to combat racism through education and unity among people of all skin tones.
Another minute of silence was held, while most people kneeled.
As the rally was winding down, Kalgora spoke to the hundreds of people present, thanking them for showing up.
"'I needed your voices, with my small voice no one would have heard me."