No justice, no peace. Black lives matter. I can’t breathe.
Those phrases rang out through downtown Grande Prairie Saturday afternoon as hundreds of peaceful protestors weaved through the streets as part of a Black Lives Matter protest in solidarity with those fighting against police brutality and systematic racism against the black community. For some, it was a day they never thought they would see in a small northern Alberta town.
“I’ll be 50 in August, and this is like déjà vu for me,” says Patience Madambe. “It brings out a certain kind of feeling, and being in Grande Prairie and seeing the support for such a cause, it’s phenomenal.”
“Grande Prairie has a reputation for being ultra-right-wing, which unfortunately comes with certain connotations, but I’m seeing all sorts of people spanning across all sorts of ages and creeds… it feels like I have electricity in my blood,” adds Danica Baldry.
The peaceful march began in the parking lot wedged between Grande Prairie City Hall and the Grande Prairie RCMP detachment. For more than an hour, people began to flood into the area, met with waves, smiles, and a feeling of what they were doing will hopefully help make a difference.
“It would take either somebody who is willing to totally ignore the world around them, someone immoral, or without any form of conscience to not be bothered by what’s happening in the world today,” says Sarah Johnson. “What’s happening is wrong, and because equality matters, and because equality doesn’t exist as long as there are groups of people who aren’t treated as equals.”