Thousands of people converged on downtown Halifax Monday evening to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and resistance to police brutality.
The demonstration was held in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis while pleading for air as a white police officer pressed his knee onto his neck.
At around 7:30 p.m., demonstrators took a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck.
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage could also be seen kneeling on Spring Garden Road.
The demonstration flooded Spring Garden Road, spreading down South Park and other side streets.
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Quentrel Provo, the founder and CEO of “Stop the Violence, Spread the Love,” said the demonstration is a way to bring people together and talk about how everyone can show support for the Black community.
“This is just a small way, but after everything is all done and died down, we’ve still got to do the work behind the scenes,” Provo said.
“We can’t be silent anymore. People who have a voice of privilege need not to be silent.”
Demonstrations have been happening across North America in the days that followed Floyd’s death. A protest in Montreal Sunday night resulted in 11 people being arrested.
A similar rally was held in Halifax on Saturday in response to the death of 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet, as well as wider issues of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism.
Const. John MacLeod, spokesperson for Halifax Regional Police, said officers would “monitor the situation to take appropriate action if necessary.”
“We are not proactively closing streets but we will have to see what is required at the time to ensure public safety,” MacLeod said in a statement to Global News Monday afternoon.