Black Lives Matter Rally in Calgary Alberta

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Black Lives Matter Rally in Calgary Alberta

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This is a photo I took during one of Calgary’s Black Lives Matter marches in the Summer of 2020. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, people took to the streets all over the world, not just America – In Calgary Alberta in particular, the death of George Floyd forced Canadians to critically look at our own law enforcement and state institutions, which were borne out of Canada’s colonial past. Not pictured in this photo would be the flags of numerous Indigenous nations, in particular the Mohawk nation – as in Canada and in America, the Black Lives Matter Movement synthesized itself with the cause of Indigenous sovereignty, as a means to combat white supremacy. During these marches, people who were antagonistic of the BLM movement stated that these marches were a threat to ‘public health’ as they believed protestors were marching mask less, this is not the case as evident in this photo. Organizers and random protestors were handing out masks, hand sanitization stations were set up with food, water and wipes. Signs were provided from the organizers to each marcher, if one did not bring their own. During this event, there was limited police presence as they maintained their distance from the large body of protestors which covered several streets. From what I recall what happened, I went with my friend Quinn, we showed up and found a place in the large crowd and listened to several speakers in the center of body of protestors (You can’t see it in this photo but it is directly center, behind the foliage). After the several speeches which took place, the organizers lead the people through a march downtown, to city hall. To my knowledge, there weren’t any instances of violence or confrontations with police – however I do remember there would be some agitators who would appear every now and then to yell at the protestors, or carry racist signs – I didn’t see this in particular, but saw photos of people doing so.
This photograph would be beneficial to the social justice collection as it depicts the black lives matter movement of Calgary Alberta, Canada as fore mostly a window into the unique Canadian experience and similarly to how protests were conducted during a pandemic.

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This item was submitted on January 22, 2021 by Padraic Cohen using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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