Okotoks holds physically distanced Black Lives Matter rally

Okotoks' Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday, June 13, 2020.
Okotoks' Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Mike Hills/Global News

Dozens turned out to Okotoks’ Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday.

Organizer Alexandra Vander Maaten said it was held in three locations to maintain proper physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 18-year-old said it was about supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. and raising awareness about racism.

“[To] show support here in Canada, in these smaller towns out here, and trying to just represent the issue in Okotoks itself,” she said.

Vander Maaten said there was an Okotoks rally last week on Elizabeth Street as a “test to see how the town would react.” She said there was a positive outcome at the event so organizers planned a bigger rally for June 13.

“We’ve got the three busy locations here in town on three Main Streets. We contacted the town hall, the bylaw and the RCMP a couple of days ago to make them aware of what we’re doing,” she said.

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“We have their support and we are just showing a peaceful show of support for those that need it in the riots in the more serious places that are going on. We just want to show our support in the smaller cracks of Canada, where they may not think that their message has reached yet.”

People from every generation attended, according to Vander Maaten.

“I think that the more support that we show, the bigger chance that change actually happens,” she said.

“I believe all lives will matter once all lives are treated equally, and at the moment, the first start is the Black Lives Matter movement. We just want to show our support for that movement and for those that are really in need of our help.”