Activists, politicians denouncing bigotry following racist rally in Edmonton
Posted September 30, 2020 4:31 pm.
Last Updated September 30, 2020 7:17 pm.
EDMONTON – Politicians and anti-racism activists are denouncing a racist rally in an Edmonton grocery store parking lot.
Nearly 100 people, many with connections to hate groups, gathered in the parking lot of the Safeway on 118 Avenue and 82 Street Tuesday night. Neighbors nearby pushed back against the protesters.
“White supremacists were called out,” said anti-racism protester Monroe Jamerson who says the ralliers gathered in a very diverse neighbourhood.
“These were the same guys that were in Red Deer… They don’t understand Black Lives Matter… A lot of it is pure ignorance and people don’t want to learn,” he said.
"White supremacists were called out."
— Rachelle Elsiufi (@Rachelleelsiufi) September 30, 2020
“There were a lot of confused people in that group, so I’m not going to say they were all racist or white supremacists. But it seems like the small group of white supremacists that was there, latched onto that group because that group was against Antifa.”
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu both took to Twitter Wednesday to condemn bigotry and racism.
“Racists are NOT patriots & hate speech is NOT acceptable in #YEG. White folks aggressively spitting ‘all lives matter’ inelegantly proves the point that Black, Indigenous & People of Colour’s lives have not yet been universally afforded equal value in our society. STOP IT,” tweeted Iveson.
Racists are NOT patriots & hate speech is NOT acceptable in #YEG. White folks aggressively spitting “all lives matter” inelegantly proves the point that Black, Indigenous & People of Colour’s lives have not yet been universally afforded equal value in our society. STOP IT. https://t.co/RK851PK4gT
— Don Iveson (@doniveson) September 30, 2020
“Last night, a small group of sad losers organized what has been described by some as a ‘white supremacist rally’ in a grocery store parking lot in North #YEG. And while all Canadians have a right to free expression, I absolutely condemn any demonstration of bigotry and racism,” Madu wrote on Twitter.
“I condemn any group that relies on race, ethnicity or colour of skin to discriminate against anyone, including groups who described themselves as white supremacist with similar objectives. I also condemn groups who seek to divide us or encourage violence on the basis of race.”
I condemn any group that relies on race, ethnicity or colour of skin to discriminate against anyone, including groups who described themselves as white supremacist with similar objectives. I also condemn groups who seek to divide us or encourage violence on the basis of race.
— Kaycee Madu (@KayceeMaduYEG) September 30, 2020
“I’m mad, I’m angry and I’m hurt. I can’t believe that people like that still have these views in this day and age,” said Jamerson.
“You can’t be on the fence on this matter. It’s one side or the other. It’s either you’re with the racists and the fascists, or you’re with us. There is no sitting on the fence in this one. People of Alberta, people of Canada, we can’t sit on the fence anymore.”
Victoria Stevens was also at the rally, taking a stand against hate groups and demanding police do more. She asked police at the rally to arrest some of the protesters for hate speech, but she says officers told her to go home.
“Why should I go home? I live here!” said Stevens.
“I was really upset. This is our neighbourhood. Police just rolled their eyes.”
Police said most of the interactions between the protesters and counter-protesters were arguments, but they did have to separate a couple of people that began to fight. After about an hour at the Safeway parking lot, people began to clear out.
“One 39-year-old male was arrested and later released without charges,” reads a statement from EPS.
EPS says no tickets were issued and there were no reports of injuries.