Thousands gathered at the Alberta Legislature grounds Friday June 5, 2020. Photo by Shaela Dansereau.

Thousands gathered at the Alberta Legislature grounds Friday June 5, 2020. Photo by Shaela Dansereau.

Edmonton Black Lives Matter protest had roughly 15, 000 attendees this weekend

Thousands gathered at the Alberta Legislature grounds Friday June 5, 2020.

Thousands gathered at the Alberta Legislature grounds Friday June 5, 2020.

The protest came in the wake of the death of George Floyd, following protests in cities across the world as people stood up to end systematic racism.

Morrel Wax with Black Lives Matter YEG was one of the organizers for the Friday night protest. “Our goal is to fight for equity and that’s across all systems that have historical trauma,” Wax said.

The event started at 6:30 p.m. and a crowd of roughly 15,000 people gathered to listen to the chosen guest speakers for the rally.

The crowds chanted “Black Lives Matter,” and “no justice, no peace,” along with the speakers throughout the protest. First aiders worked their way throughout the crowds offering water bottles and hand sanitizer to the masses.

Organizers urged the crowds to try and maintain social distancing, wear masks and to keep the protest peaceful.

“This is a peaceful protest!” Organizers wrote in a post on the BLM YEG Facebook page, “Please do not pay any attention to any negativity that might occur.”

Organizers and speakers for the event urged attendees to write their local city councils asking for accountability and to use funding for the police force for community services and other initiatives instead.

The protest ended around 8:30 p.m. where protesters proceeded to march down Jasper Ave. with signs chanting “Black Lives Matter” as cars driving by honked their horns in support.

Just before 11 p.m. the Edmonton Police Service took a knee with protesters for a moment of silence for George Floyd and others killed by police brutality.

The EPS says they are committed to making changes to reduce racism and systematic injustice in the community.

“We want to protect you, we want to hear you but we have to work together,” president of the Edmonton Police Association Sgt. Michael Elliot said. “We realize how much hurt and pain this has caused and knowing that we can understand and communicate with our community means everything to us.”

Organizers of the protest say that the protest was an important step in shining a spotlight on what needs to change in the community in order to move forward.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo Courtesy of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools will not pilot draft curriculum

RDCRS is one of many divisions in the area to opt out of the pilot of the K-6 draft curriculum

Pay parking station on 50A Street in Sylvan Lake. (File Photo)
Resident Parking program returns to Sylvan Lake this weekend

The programs runs from May 15 to Sept. 15 every year

Supporters gather during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop cafe in Mirror Alta, on Saturday May 8, 2021. The Whistle Stop was shut down by AHS for not complying with COVID-19 rules. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Police hand out tickets to dozens leaving anti-lockdown protest in Alberta

Hundreds gathered outside the Whistle Stop Café in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta.

Alberta’s environment department has known for years that toxins from old coal mines are contaminating populations of the province’s official animal, the bighorn sheep. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Craig Bihrl
Alberta government knew bighorn sheep contaminated with coal mine selenium, scientist says

Jeff Kneteman says Alberta Environment has known about the problem in bighorn sheep for years

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receives his COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccination in Ottawa, Friday, April 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
75% of Canadians need 1st vaccine dose to have more normal summer: Trudeau

The country is on track to hit a major milestone on the road to COVID-19 herd immunity Tuesday, with 40% vaccinated with a 1st dose

A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Alberta to stop giving first doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot as supply dwindles

There aren’t any confirmed shipments of AstraZeneca coming, and the province only has 8,400 doses of it left

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

File photo
Arrest made for armed robbery in Millet, Wetaskiwin RCMP continue to investigate

Wetaskiwin RCMP are investigating an armed robbery took place May 4, 2021 in Millet, Alta.

Dr. Karina Pillay, former mayor of Slave Lake, Alta., is shown at her medical clinic in Calgary on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
10 years later: Former Slave Lake mayor remembers wildfire that burned through town

Alberta announced in 2011 that an unknown arsonist had recklessly or deliberately ignited the forest fire

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman travelling from Alberta found dead in B.C. park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel’s approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

Wolf density in Jasper is low enough that the animals would not be expected to be a major threat

Most Read