A small group gathers at Millstone Park in Port Alberni on Monday, June 1 to protest racial inequality and police brutality. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Port Alberni residents gather to protest racism

Peaceful Drive By Protest planned for Thursday

People in Port Alberni are adding their voices to the cries against racial inequality across Canada and the United States.

Protests against racism and police brutality have been taking place in cities all over North America since the May 25 death of a black man—George Floyd—at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

READ MORE: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

A small group gathered in Millstone Park in Port Alberni on Monday afternoon (June 1) in a demonstration against racism.

The event, which was organized by Marilyn Bueckert and Seva Dhaliwal, was a peaceful protest. Although only a few people joined in, many cars honked in support as they drove past.

“Some people have asked why I’m doing this,” said Bueckert on Monday. “I’m hoping it will make people think. We want to keep this peaceful and get people to think about how racism hurts.”

“The issue going on in America is upsetting,” added Dhaliwal. “We shall protest and let people know we will not stand by until justice is served to George Floyd and his family.”

This protest took place the day after a small demonstration in Bamfield.

A Port Alberni teacher is also organizing a Peaceful Drive By Protest on Thursday, June 4 in order to follow social distancing guidelines.

“As a teacher I teach my kids to voice their concerns, to communicate their feelings – peacefully,” Joy Couttenier posted on Facebook. “Let’s do a PEACEFUL drive by protest against racial discrimination!”

Drivers will meet at Third Avenue and Morton Street and depart at 4 p.m., driving past the Port Alberni RCMP detachment.

Couttenier says that the RCMP have been informed about the protest. More information can be found on the Facebook event page.

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