From 150 to 200 people marched Wednesday in downtown Montreal to protest racism and police brutality and demand changes from the police and governments.
The demonstrators left Place Émilie-Gamelin to finish their march at Place des Festivals, in the Quartier des spectacles in Montreal around 3 p.m.
The demonstration took place in calm, under the gaze of officers from the Montreal Police Service (SPVM).
For Canada Day organizers, July 1 was a good opportunity for claim changes in the functioning of the society in which they live. Raised fist, protesters chanted slogans, sang and recalled the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the death of the African American George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis on May 25.
The protesters also recalled the memory of Rodney Levi, 48, who died in a police intervention of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Miramichi, New Brunswick, in mid-June.
Mamadou Dieye is part of the Black Rose Alliance group, which participated in the organization of the event. He wants to create a discussion table with the SPVM and wants to be able to consult “quantitative data on arrests made in error and incidents of police brutality based on ethnicity”
People with arabic or black surnames have to send more resumes than others to find a job, says Dieye. They are also more likely to be arrested by the police, he adds.
“We cannot say that, because we live in a country where it is good to live, all of a sudden, we should accept not to be treated equally“, He says.
Mamadou Dieye believes that the dialogue on these issues has not been able to evolve in Montreal because politicians and police officers are on the defensive.
“Instead of admitting there is a problem and working to solve it, they simply deny it exists, he says. Since no one makes them accountable, I have the feeling that nothing is done.”
The young man intends to make things change; he says he hopes his children don’t have to fight the same battles as him.
With information from Eve Caron