Antiracism rally in Nanaimo postponed after violent threats

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      An initiative to raise support for anti-racism on Vancouver Island has had to be postponed due to threats of violence.

      One of the Resilience B.C. Anti-Racism Network partners had planned an antiracism car rally in Nanaimo and Ladysmith to be held on June 20.

      However, the Times Colonist reported that Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said that the event was suspended after organizers received an email that participants would be shot.

      Krog expressed his disappointment about the postponement due to the threats of violence in a June 22 news release. He added that anti-racism rallies aren’t "anti-white" rallies.

      He also quoted  UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ who stated, in his "No Place for Racism" speech in 2020, that “racism is a persistent scourge of our world” and that “people’s opportunities for education and employment, and their access to healthcare and justice, are often determined by their race".

      B.C. parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives Rachna Singh issued a statement yesterday (June 22) to “strongly” condemn the threats, which she said "are unacceptable and will not be tolerated” and “will not scare or intimidate us into submission” but instead “only strengthens our resolve”.

      She added that “this incident is further proof of why it's so important that we continue to oppose racism and discrimination, which has seen an increase in our province throughout the pandemic”.

      She encouraged everyone to "come together as a society to speak out against racism and show our support for Nanaimo and Ladysmith, as well as other communities in the province that are experiencing racism”.

      Krog said that “organizers..are regrouping and reviewing how to best move forward with a future Anti-Racism Car Rally in Nanaimo”.

      Singh said she will attend the event when it is held.