Gyatana Theobrun still remembers her cousin who was killed during a police intervention in the United States 10 years ago.
“For sure,” she said. “Until today, they have no justice for that as well.”
Theobrun says it’s one of the reasons she’s taking part in a protest with other mothers Saturday against unjust police killings. She’s one of the featured speakers.
Malinda Germann said during an interview that the women want to add their voices to the demand to end what they see as indiscriminate killings of Black, Indigenous and other people of colour by police. She said the death of George Floyd helped push her to take action.
“Honestly, to see a man that age crying for his mother before his last breaths changed me as a person,” she told Global News. “I have four sons and I think of my sons going through this.”
Germann said she was tired of worrying about the lives of her own sons and believes marches like the one planned are important to support families who’ve lost people at the hands of police because of systemic racism.
Theobrun said they have a special responsibility to speak out.
“Because we’re the ones that bury the children,” she said. “We’re the ones that give birth to those children.
“We see many mothers suffering and not having a way or place to call.”
The rally comes as anti-Black racism protests continue in the United States, most recently over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot in the back at point-blank range by police.
There have been protests in Montreal and the rest of the country, also drawing attention to the deaths of Indigenous people at the hands of police. The mothers Global News spoke to feel they have to keep pushing for change. Their protest coincides with another rally Saturday calling for defunding of police forces and against what’s seen as over-policing of some communities of colour.
Cherizar Walker, who plans to speak at the mothers’ march, is optimistic that with all the voices speaking out, change will happen.
“It’s a year that is shifting us into a new age, and we’re building a new world,” she said.