Two rallies on the Island of Montreal show support for Black Lives Matter movement

A group of bikers and another assembly of peaceful protesters showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement Saturday on the Island of Montreal.

WEST ISLAND RALLY

The protesters that gathered in the Pierrefonds Saturday say racism is in the community no matter what some might think.

“It’s there,” said Mariam Issa of Youth Stars Foundation. “We feel it and we see it. We have to have this rally because people don’t think it’s happening here.”

The peaceful rally was a chance for many to share their experiences and find that they are not alone.

Claude Maginzi said he has been the victim of different forms of racism, some of them subtle, but still there.

“If you walk into Fairview (mall) for example, and you’re not purchasing something, people will start looking at you just to make sure that you’re not stealing, you’re not doing anything bad,” he said.

For community organizers, part of the challenge is getting their message across.

“At a particular school, we had a program that was specifically for Black youth, and this school has a lot of Black youth in it, and the board and principal denied us entry into the school even though we had a partnership with the school,” said Malik Shaheed of Youth Stars. “the top has to say to the bottom, ‘Listen to these people and do your best of giving opportunities to community organizations, people of colour, Indigenous people, Black people.”

BIKERS RIDE FOR THE CAUSE

A group of bikers rallied at the Orange Julep off the Decarie Expressway Saturday afternoon flying Black Lives Matter and anti-police flags.

The group rode slowly through Montreal streets protesting racism and police violence.

Organizers said while bikers often get a bad reputation thrust on them, now is the time to show there are many allies in the motorcycle community.

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