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Vancouver rallies against racism and police brutality

Zain ul Haq

June 9, 2020

“You love our culture, but you don’t love us”, said a speaker in front of 10,000 people in solidarity with the rebellion in the US and opposed to the wide spread racism and police violence here. The rally on June 5, was the second one in Vancouver since the police murder of George Floyd.

Her words echo down the consciousness and troubled history of white supremacy and the racial politics. Which was introduced by the ruling class, everywhere white Europeans were in power. This reminder of the fact that there are some white folks who have fetishized black African culture and appropriated many aspects of it, is a story that everyone in Canada should be too familiar.

Our Prime Minister is the embodiment of liberal hypocrisy. At the rally in Ottawa he made sure to be photographed taking a knee. The same one who decided to put on blackface, on three separate occasions. And who also, along with the BC Premier, sent in the RCMP to arrest Wet’suwet’en land defenders earlier this year.

Thousands of people gathered at the Olympic Cauldron in Vancouver to show solidarity with our comrades rising up in the US. We see these solidarity marches and demonstrations all over the world. All over the world we see the increasing disillusionment that the mass of people have with institutions of power and dominance that have long been left unchecked. Police are not an organ of democratic, popular participation of citizens. There is a reason why the term police force has the word “force” in it. The police in the US and here in Canada have been unapologetically sadistic in their love of power and control. The police force is and has always been a tool of the ruling elite of each country, to control the general population. This might be one reason why there is a universal empathy with the political uprising in the US.

“Our silence has led to more fear” added the speaker. Over here, she was in the process of making the argument that we have repeatedly suppressed the ugly truth about racism. She went on to make the argument that we need to have an honest and open dialogue about these issues, in every aspect of life, in the household, as well as in the political discourse. This is a reminder that brushing issues of this sort under the rug, only helps sustain this flawed system of oppression. She also mentioned “I didn’t realize I was an African, until I came to North America” a recognition that racism is the assumption that all members of a race have the same characteristics, a failure to discriminate between each individual and the sadistic impulse to discriminate based on skin color of groups of people. In other words, discrimination, as well as the failure to discriminate, is what makes a racist.

There were many other encouraging and entertaining speakers at the protest, including a few from secondary schools in Vancouver, who seemed more passionate and aware of the political environment, than most adults. We see signs of this, in the climate movement especially. The mass gathering at the Olympic Cauldron is a sign of the increased willingness of the public to actively take part in democracy and not just once every four years, a tendency that reveals the human need for free and un-coerced cooperation and solidarity.

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