SHERBROOKE | Between 2 500 and 3 000 people gathered in Sherbrooke on Sunday to honor the memory of George Floyd and denounce the racism that exists everywhere in the world, including in the eastern Townships.
The protesters, who had been given an appointment in the Market to the train station, and then headed towards the University of Sherbrooke with a stop in front of the headquarters of the Service de police de Sherbrooke (SPVS).
“We’re tired of racism. I sense that all here, you’re tired. That’s why you’re here today”, said the organizer, Ornella Yely in his speech.
The demonstrators applauded the police chief of the city who addressed the crowd, denouncing any form of oppression. The applause, however, have quickly turned to boos when the police have refused to kneel to honor the memory of George Floyd, this black man was asphyxiated to death by a police officer in Minneapolis, United States.
“Take on the word as chief of police in a situation such as an event like this is quite exceptional and very rare. Then, people need to understand that it is with them from the heart”, has defended Danny McConnell, director of the SPVS.
Despite the anger provoked the demonstrators by the police, who have not knelt, the rest of the walk was done in the quiet, exactly as wished by the organizers.
For Ornella Yely, walking is a good proof that the community is united for the cause.
“I want people remember that, in Sherbrooke, it is really a small city but a small town who loves. I saw the love. It, it was love. It was really the union,” said the organizer of the walk.
Several elected officials also attended the walk, including the federal minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and the mayor of Sherbrooke, Steve Lussier, who have both agreed that there is still work to be done to combat racism in the eastern Townships.