On Friday June 5th, Prince George activists held a peaceful protest at city hall in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The protest began with paying respect to George Floyd by remaining silent for nearly nine minutes—the length of time officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck before shooting him. Following the moment of silence were numerous speakers addressing the issue at hand, and the protest ended with a march around downtown Prince George. PG citizens showed an overwhelming amount of support as the streets of downtown were flooded by people.
With the BLM movement spreading globally, many of Prince George’s businesses have contributed statements showing their support. One of those businesses was Ritual Coffee Bar, which closed early so that staff could attend the protest. “I feel that just standing in solidarity is really really important. Obviously it’s an issue that does not just equal to what is happening in America, but also in Canada” says Jon Letchford, owner of Ritual Coffee Bar.
Given recent attempts to change Kelly Road Secondary School to Shas Ti Secondary, Prince George showed a shocking and heartbreaking side of racism against Indigenous Canadians. The protest demonstrated support of not only black lives, but indigenous as well. “Indigenous lives matter” and “we are all people” are among the chants of Prince George protestors.
It has been made clear through social media that BLM is not a moment, but a movement, which will not fade as with other instagram trends. Organizers of the instagram account ‘fridaysforfuturepg’ are organizing another protest on Friday, June 19th at 2:00 and they hope to see more folks out there.