'They're not going to win': Yukoners rally against racism in Whitehorse

Yukon Commissioner Doug Phillips joined dozens of other Yukoners at a demonstration against racism and intolerance in Whitehorse Tuesday and called on all Canadians to work towards a peaceful society.

Commissioner Doug Phillips joined dozens in demonstration against racism and intolerance in Whitehorse

Whitehorse residents gathered Tuesday for a demonstration against racism and discrimination. (Steve Hossack/CBC)

Dozens of people gathered around the Healing Totem on the Whitehorse waterfront in blustery weather Tuesday to demonstrate against racism and ideologies of intolerance. 

"I think it's very important to acknowledge that while we can look at the [United] States and think that doesn't happen here, it does happen," said Saba Javed, who grew up as a member of one of the first Muslim families to settle in the city.

"And it does happen in very small towns," she said.

"It's important to reject bigotry and hate in smaller areas too, and not just big cities."

Saba Javed says no community is immune from racism. (Steve Hossack/CBC)

She said the rally was a way of showing support for community members who want to make a positive change in the territory.

The Commissioner of the Yukon, Doug Phillips, said he was there because it's important for all leaders to speak out against hate speech and discrimination.

"It really has reached a peak and we have to silence the haters, and that's why I think we have to come out here today and all across this country and the world to show our solidarity," said Phillips.

Yukon Commissioner Doug Phillips says it's important to let 'hatespeakers' know that they will not win. (Steve Hossack/CBC)

The demonstration was a way of showing publicly that Yukoners do care and oppose intolerance, he said.

Phillips added that the rally, and similar ones across the country, encourages Canadians to bring about a more peaceful society.

"It also sends the message to the hate speakers, to those people that they're a minority and they're not going to win this battle, we're going to win the battle."

With files from Steve Hossack