A peaceful protest in support of Black Lives Matter is planned to take place in Airdrie June 3.
According to a Facebook page dedicated to the event, the demonstration will be held at Nose Creek Regional Park beginning at 4 p.m. According to organizers, anyone hoping to express solidarity with the BLM movement, regardless of race, is invited to attend and encouraged to dress unidentifiably.
"This peaceful protest is to bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as police brutality," the Facebook page stated. "We stand with the families and those who have been affected by the acts and consequences of systematic racism. This is also an important time to remember the Indigenous lives that have been lost due to police brutality as well as [missing and murdered Indigenous women]. If you are staying silent, you are aiding the oppressor."
Airdrie's protest comes as others take place throughout the United States and around the world in response to the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minn. Floyd's death – which was captured on video – has led to wide-spread protests and riots throughout the U.S.
On June 1, a BLM demonstration took place in Calgary.
A group of local high school students – who requested anonymity due to concerns about possible negative impacts on their future employment opportunities – is organizing the protest.
"Although most of Airdrie’s residents turn to Calgary to attend protests, we should have our own," said one organizers, a 16-year-old. "After what the planet witnessed take place with the murder of George Floyd, there is collective heartbreak and outrage. Now is the time for us all to stand together and be better humans and show that Airdrie stands with those suffering."
According to the event's Facebook page, organizers are calling for protesters to remain peaceful and not clash with any law enforcement who attend. Signs are encouraged, but organizers ask they be family-friendly in case any young children are in attendance.
Organizers added any acts of vandalism at Nose Creek Regional Park will be reported.
"In terms of numbers, we have no idea what to expect," the 16-year-old organizer said. "What I am hoping for is a passionate and peaceful crowd of residents who came only with the intention of showing their solidarity and support for BLM."
Because of ongoing concerns about COVID-19, organizers also ask attendees to wear masks, respect social distancing requirements and limit the size of their groups to remain in compliance with public health orders. Those who are immuno-compromised or living with someone who is immuno-compromised are asked to stay home.