Close to 3,000 people gathered at Victoria’s Centennial Square on Sunday to rally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in Victoria on Sunday.
Organizers say the event was meant to be a peaceful protest in solidarity against anti-Black racism.
The demonstration comes amid widespread demonstrations across the United States and Canada in the wake of the death of George Floyd while being arrested by a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck.
A protest in Vancouver on Friday drew an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 at its peak.
Attendees of the Victoria event were asked to stay physically distant from each other and wear masks, given the COVID-19 risk. Organizers also streamed the rally for people who wished to participate virtually.
“It’s about recognizing our biases, our privileges and being a settler on these lands in Victoria and a visitor here,” said organizer Asiyah Robinson Sunday
“I can recognize that I am privileged when I’m speaking with indigenous peoples and I’m hearing the atrocities that happen here. I can recognize that in that space, I am not the most marginalized — the Indigenous are,” she added.
“And so what we’re asking is for people to recognize their positions of power within the systems that they’re in, within the settings that they’re in, and how they can either help us up or support us when we get there.”
Earlier this week, Victoria demonstrators held a peaceful march against anti-Black racism from Centennial Square to the lawn of the B.C. legislature.
Montreal also played host to a rally against racism and police brutality Sunday.
On Saturday, a largely peaceful and often festive protest in Toronto was marred by the arrest of a counter-demonstrator who showed up wearing blackface.
Daily protests have continued across the United States since Floyd’s death, and on Saturday were largely peaceful.