george floyd canada

This is what the protests for George Floyd looked like in cities across Canada

The protests that erupted in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes have spawned demonstrations across the continent over the last week.

In Canada, people in cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax have taken to the streets to call for an end to police brutality, justice for Black lives like Floyd's, and to draw attention to the pervasive systemic racism underpinning such tragedies.

And while things south of the border have gotten violent in recent days, our protests have continued peacefully with little-to-no conflict between protesters and police.

In Vancouver, a small-scale march took place Saturday evening, where residents gathered to block off rainy streets in the Downtown Eastside, chanting "black lives matter."

The event is one of many others scheduled to take place in the city over the coming week, including the primary one, which starts in front of the city's art gallery this evening.

The demonstrations have so far been peaceful and civil, with no interactions with police.

In Toronto, a massive crowd of thousands flooded Christie Pits Park on Saturday afternoon, traveling down Bloor Street toward Bay and College. Demonstrations also took place in nearby municipalities, like Hamilton.

The movement was driven largely by the death of 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who fell from a 24th-floor balcony of a High Park apartment building during an interaction with police on May 27.

The aerial views of the peaceful protest were absolutely awe-inspiring, showing the strength and sheer enormity of the movement.

In typical Canadian fashion, participants were seen engaging in peaceful, meaningful conversations with one another and with police, and even picking up after themselves.

Meanwhile, a rally for Korchinski-Paquet, who was proud of her Nova Scotian roots, was also held in Halifax on Saturday afternoon, starting downtown at Victoria Park.

Organized by the Justice for Regis Nova Scotia Coalition, the hundreds-strong march was against the deaths of countless people of colour across the continent who have died in police custody, including  Eisha Hudson and Jason Collins in Winnipeg, and D-Andre Campbell in Peel, Ontario.

"Across Canada and in the United States, we have seen during this crisis that Black and Indigenous lives are not only disproportionately affected by COVID-19 due to racism, marginalization, and historical deprivation, but that our communities are also targeted by police for enforcement," a release for the event read.

The city's chief of police expressed his support of the movement, taking to social media to thank activists for "attending and participating peacefully."

More civil action is scheduled to take place in Montreal at 5 p.m. today, while other demonstrations continue to pop up around North America.

People are being advised to ensure they know who the organizers are before attending such events, and also to wear masks, maintain a two metres distance from others and generally keep safety during the pandemic in mind.

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