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Black Lives Matter in New Westminster

Stanley Edom addresses Black Lives Matter rally in New Westminster, BC
Bradley Hughes

June 13, 2020

Around 100 people joined the New West supports Black Lives Matter rally on Friday June 12. The rally was organized to “show peaceful support for Black people here in New Westminster, in Canada, and around the world.” The crowd listened to powerful remarks from Stanley Edom about his experience of racism in New Westminster.

Mr. Edom pointed out that we can keep our keep our families safe from COVID-19 by socially distancing and washing our hands. But you “can not protect your family from racism by washing your hands. Racism is a disease that is worse than the corona virus.”

He relayed his experience of getting on the bus and the person sitting next to him getting up to stand, and for the rest of the long trip no one would sit on the seats around him. When he got off the bus, he “checked to see if I smell. I don’t smell, my smell is my colour.”

His young son’s friend wouldn’t invite him to his home because his parents, “don’t like black kids.”

Despite his experience, Mr. Edom is hopeful, “we are meant to live together.” He told the crowd, “Black lives matter. All lives matter. I believe we can make a change if we start now.”

He ended his remarks asking us to,” treat each other with respect, treat each other with love, treat each other with compassion. We are speaking and people are hearing.”

After his speech, the crowd remained on the busy corner of 8th St. and 6th Ave. Participants’ home made placards were greeted with supportive honks from dozens of drivers.