Nova Scotia

More Black Lives Matter events happening in Nova Scotia

Rallies and marches are scheduled for Saturday in Truro, Amherst and Kentville.

Rallies and marches in Truro, Amherst and Kentville on Saturday

Hundreds of people attended peaceful demonstration in Sydney to protest racialized violence on Wednesday. (Brittany Wentzell/CBC)

More Black Lives Matter events are being held across Nova Scotia this weekend.

There are marches and gatherings organized in Truro, Amherst and Kentville on Saturday. The aim of these events is to remember lives lost to police brutality around the world.

"I'm just trying to get this rally and this movement going so that people can understand what us as Black men and women have to go through when it comes to the police," said Amanda Green, a co-organizer of the Black Lives Matter event in Truro.

"We shouldn't have to tell our children and our family members, 'OK now, if an officer pulls you over, you have to keep your hands out of your pockets and don't move.' Just the risk of getting shot because of the colour of our skin, it's scary."

Green said she's been on the receiving end of racism in Truro and has witnessed racism toward others. She and co-organizer Audriana Smith, hope the event on Saturday will lead to lasting change.

"There's definitely a need to spotlight our Black voices in this community. Too often they get pushed off to the side," said Smith. "We thought it was important not only for elders in our community, but the youth in our community to hear Black voices talking about the issues they face every day."

A Black Lives Matter vigil was held in Halifax on Friday evening. (Mark Crosby/CBC)

The Truro event started with a march from the TAAC campgrounds at 1:30 p.m. and ended at Civic Square. There were guest speakers and performances.

Both Smith and Green encouraged people to wear non-medical masks and to follow public health physical distancing guidelines because of COVID-19, and for people to stay home if they're not feeling well.

Meghan Purdy has planned a Black Lives Matter Walk for Justice in Kentville for Saturday night.

'Racism is getting so out of hand'

It starts at 7:45 p.m. at Centre Square. It will begin with speeches by the mayor, chief of police and Black people from the area.

After that, people will walk to the ball park where people will kneel for eight minutes in silence in memory of George Floyd, an African American man who died in late May after a police officer knelt on his neck for about the same amount of time.

"I just felt that somebody had to do something. This racism is getting so out of hand in our world today, it's just so important," Purdy said.

"It doesn't matter what colour you are, you have to put your voice forward to let everybody else know that it's not OK to be racist against Blacks, it's not OK to hurt people at all."

Physical distancing and masks are mandatory for the event in Kentville, Purdy said.

Kentvile Mayor Sandra Snow said she plans to keep her speech short "because mine is not the voice we should be hearing." She said the town is going to commit to making a difference.

"We need folks in our community to stand up and be change agents and sometimes we just need to listen," Snow said.

For those who cannot make it in person, it will be live-streamed on the All Things Annapolis Valley Facebook group.

Amherst event

The Amherst Police Department posted there would be a Black Lives Matter event held in the town on Saturday, but in a Facebook post clarified that they were not the organizers of the event.

"We understand and support the right to protest and the peaceful freedom of expression. We support the show of solidarity against racism and injustice and our wish to is to promote communication, understanding, healing, trust and partnership in our community," the police department said in a Facebook post.

Police said the event is being planned by members of the community and said organizers reached out to them to address traffic concerns and ensure safety. CBC News has been unable to reach the organizers of the Amherst event.

Hundreds of people gathered in Halifax on Friday for a Black Lives Matter candlelight vigil that ended with a peaceful march to Halifax Regional Police. Around the same number of people turned out to a similar event held in Sydney on Wednesday.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anjuli Patil

Reporter

Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.

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