George Floyd solidarity protest begins in downtown Vancouver—without Black Lives Matter Vancouver

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      There has been some confusion about a large demonstration taking place right now on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

      It has included a very well-intentioned chant of "Black Lives Matter".

      And it's being held in solidarity with similar protests in cities across North America following the police-involved killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

      But this demonstration, which has attracted more than 1,000 people, isn't a Black Lives Matter Vancouver event.

      As the video below in šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square indicates, this protest is also not in accordance with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's ban on gatherings of more than 50 people in British Columbia.

      Many in the crowd are wearing masks.

      But from another photo below, it doesn't appear that all of them are standing two metres apart from one another.

      Some civil-rights leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, have cautioned protesters to be careful not to contract COVID-19 and spread it within their communities.

      Here's what Black Lives Matter Vancouver said on its Facebook page today:

      We are aware of the protest planned for this evening, and know @boy_pollo has identified himself as the organizer. .

      We support Black folks and groups that are exercising their right to protest white supremacy and state violence!

      In line with the wishes of Regis Korchinski-Paquet's family, please keep this event peaceful, as you gather in solidarity to demand justice.

      * Wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose. Black and Indigenous communities are at much higher risk of serious consequences from Covid-19. Don't be the reason that our communities get sicker.

      * SPREAD OUT. Ensure you stand, at least, 2 metres/6ft away from people that are not part of your pod.

      * Health practitioners and folks caring for vulnerable populations, carefully weigh your options and analyze the potential risk.

      * Consider Self isolating for 14 days after attending a protest during a pandemic. If you can't isolate, please weigh your options and potential risk.

      * Consider accessing a drive-thru covid19 testing station after the protest.

      * Be safe and keep community safe.

      BLM Vancouver is not the official organizer of this protest, but we stand in solidarity, with deep gratitude.