Calgarians march to defund police, in support of Black Lives Matter

A ‘Defund the Police’ protest marched through downtown Calgary on Saturday. As Taylor Braat reports, hundreds participated, joining others nationwide.

CALGARY (CITY NEWS) – Calgarians took part in a nationwide protest Saturday afternoon in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The rally saw hundreds of protesters march from Sien Lok Park in Chinatown toward City Hall.

The demonstration was organized by groups Black Trans Lives Matter and DefundYYC, with the help of Idle No More.

It was part of a nationwide day of protest opposing racial inequalities and demanding police departments be defunded. Similar demonstrations were also held in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

“People who are in a position of power do not care about us, do not care about my skin colour,” said Adebayo Katiiti, the founder of LGBTQ+ rights group RARICAnow.

“A lot of refugees really see Canada as a haven for safety, but they’re not ready for the repercussions when they come here. They’re not ready for the discrimination.”

Some protesters wore Black Lives Matter hoodies while others waved rainbow-coloured Pride flags.

The group chanted “Black Trans Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” as they walked through the streets of downtown Calgary, sometimes against oncoming traffic. At one point, protesters halted traffic when they took a knee at a busy intersection.

There was a police presence at the event.

“I will be there in support to make sure it’s a safe environment for everybody,” said Duty Inspector Curtis Olson earlier on Saturday. “Just making sure we’re responsive to the community need and supporting what’s going on there.”

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