Black Lives Matter rally outside U.S. embassy in Ottawa draws hundreds
Rally organized ‘in act of solidarity’ with Black Lives Matter movement in U.S., rest of Canada
By Hillary Johnstone, CBC News Posted: Jul 12, 2016
The rally happened the same night another black man, allegedly armed with a knife, was shot and killed by police in California, and just two days after a man in Texas was shot while reportedly pointing a gun.
Many in the large, diverse crowd gathered on Sussex Drive held candles and chanted “Black lives they matter here!”
Several speakers also took to the microphone to share stories of fear and hope after the violence south of the border.
Alicia Lejour told the CBC’s Adrian Harewood she was left “heartbroken” by the recent violence in the U.S., and felt compelled to help organize the event.
“Just because [Canada is] better in comparison to the United States doesn’t mean that we are doing a good job,” Lejour said.
“When you’re comparing anything to an extreme you probably are going to come out looking pretty good. There definitely is issues with the police in Canada, along with just systematic oppression.”
‘I didn’t feel welcome’ in the U.S.
Alex Edwards was born and raised in Ottawa, and said it’s sad that social media partially triggered the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I just think it’s really sad that it took technology … for people to realize the things that we’ve been feeling for centuries,” Edwards said.
“Video instant proof is shown, and it’s like, ‘Oh, maybe there is a problem here.'”
Alexandra Andre grew up in Ottawa, but lived in New York between 2001 and 2006. She said she moved back to Canada because she didn’t feel “comfortable” as a black woman living in the United States.
“The thing is that, while living in the U.S. I realized that … we, they are not wanted there … and I didn’t feel welcomed when I did live in the U.S.,” Andre said.