An anti-racism car rally in Nanaimo went off without incident on Sunday after being cancelled last month due to threats of violence.
Originally scheduled to take place in June, the rally was rescheduled due to safety concerns after an organizer received an e-mail warning them that someone would come and “start shooting at people” who attended the event, according to organizer Janis Harris, who is part of the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network’s Nanaimo-Ladysmith chapter.
On Sunday (July 25) the anti-racism car rally proceeded at Vancouver Island University, with about 50 participants who drove through the streets of Nanaimo honking their horns and displaying anti-racism and hate signs.
Nina Charley, a participant in the rally and director of a non-profit organization called Rise Bridge, said participants drove throughout Nanaimo, honking their horns and displaying anti-hate signs.
She also said the rally was important for the group as they want to bring more discussion to racism, a topic she feels has been talked about less over recent months.
“From my personal experience, I have noticed that especially in the mid-Island area we’ve not had a very great discussion about racism in our communities until last year during the BLM protests,” said Charley. “Bringing together this and doing the car rally, it also shows that people are still paying attention and people still want to take part in anti-racism work.”
The previous rally was called off after consultation with RCMP after determining they could not bring necessary safety for those participating.
Harris told CHEK News back in June that situations like those are why organizations like Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network exist.
“Hate comes in all forms and this is just one very violent form,” she said. “But you know, instead of backing off, we’re actually trying to address the issue.
With files from Nicholas Pescod