A Black Trans & Queer Lives Matter Rally Is Planned For Downtown Montreal This Weekend

The vigil is in response to systemic racism and police brutality.
Staff Writer
A Montreal Vigil For Black Trans & Queer Lives Is Planned For This Weekend

A rally and vigil to honour black, trans, and queer lives are planned for the downtown this Sunday. The Montreal vigil is hosted by the Black Indigenous Harm Reduction AllianceJustice for Victims of Police Killings, Healing Justice Montréal, and Rest2Resist. The groups invite all Montrealers to the corner of boulevard de Maisonneuve and rue Saint-Urbain at 5 p.m. on June 14.

UPDATE: This event was cancelled and replaced with an event called "Stonewall X BLM" taking place on June 28.

With performances by black, trans, and queer artists, the vigil is to reflect on issues and remember the victims and survivors of systemic racism and police brutality in Montreal and across the continent. 

"Bring candles to be lit at dusk. Bring your banners, signs, and placards," the organizers wrote on Facebook.

"Bring your broken hearts and longing for justice. Bring all your love and rage. Come pray with us. Come meditate with us. Come ready to fight by our side."

15 days ago, a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to George Floyd's neck, killing him. Floyd's death kicked off a worldwide surge of demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality, calling attention to just how insidious these issues are. 

A few days after Floyd's killing, Tallahassee police shot and killed Tony McDade, a black trans man.

"Cops, Covid-19, Systemic Racism & Transphobia Kill. And we're going to make sure that BLACK TRANS & QUEER LIVES MATTER," the vigil's organizers wrote in the event description. 

This Sunday's vigil marks the third week in a row that Montrealers have assembled to protest systemic racism and police brutality. 

The protest on June 7 drew huge crowds and remained peaceful throughout the day. Thousands of people participated. 

Montreal's first protest turned sour when police began firing tear gas into the crowd. Some looting also occurred. 

READ ALSO: Photos & Video Show The Huge Crowds That Marched Against Police Brutality In Montreal

Though Premier Legault claims that there's "no systemic discrimination" in Quebec, experts argue that the premier's remarks are misguided.

"Legault doesn't understand because he said he doesn't accept that people are racist," said Maria-Livia Beaugé, an organizer at Hoodstock.

"If you don't accept that people are racist, it's systemic racism." 

The premier, however, acknowledged that the province should institute anti-racism policies and will do so in the coming weeks. 

[rebelmouse-image 26884903 photo_credit="Nayla Ajami | MTL Blog" expand=1 original_size="2453x2259"] Nayla Ajami | MTL Blog

The vigil and rally are planned for Sunday, June 14 at 5 p.m. and will assemble on the corner of boulevard de Maisonneuve and rue Saint-Urbain, in front of SPVM police headquarters. 

Teddy Elliot
Staff Writer