A peaceful protest standing up against racism and inequality is scheduled to take place at Duncan’s Charles Hoey Park this Friday at 5 p.m. Pictured here is a Black Lives Matter protest in Williams Lake last week. (Black Press photo)

Black Lives Matter rally coming to Duncan Friday

Protest scheduled for 5 p.m. this Friday at Charles Hoey Park

The Black Lives Matter movement is coming to Cowichan.

A rally in support of Black Lives Matter and racial injustice awareness of all kinds will be held this Friday (June 12) at 5 p.m. in Charles Hoey Park in downtown Duncan.

Antonio Diaz is organizing the event in conjunction with the Cowichan Intercultural Society and the Duncan Showroom. He recently found himself lying awake at 2 a.m., wondering what he could do in response to the turmoil across the U.S., kicked off by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis on May 25. He decided to organize a rally like peaceful protests that have taken place in many cities in the U.S. and around the world in recent weeks.

“Just watching everything happen on the news throughout the years of my life, I always wanted to do more,” Diaz said. “I’m trying to get as involved as I can.”

Although the rally is in support of Black Lives Matter, Diaz wants to bring attention to all racism in Canada, and says First Nations leaders have been invited to speak.

“It shouldn’t be ignored,” he said of racism in Canada. “People think it doesn’t happen as much, but it does happen a lot. It’s just not being recorded.”

Diaz started a Facebook group to support Black Lives Matter in the Cowichan Valley, which was approaching 500 members on Wednesday morning.

“I’m glad it has grown this big,” Diaz said. “I’m hoping to bring awareness to the situation. I’m excited by what’s happening.”

The rally begins this Friday at 5 p.m. in Charles Hoey Park. For more information, find the “BlackLivesMatter Cowichan valley Solidarity Rally & March” group on Facebook.

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