PHOTOS: Estimated 6,000 people join anti-racism Freedom March in Vancouver

Thousands of people march to mark Juneteenth, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, June 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
A man wears a face mask that says “I Can’t Breathe” and “Black Lives Matter” while marching with a raised fist alongside thousands of others to mark Juneteenth, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, June 19, 2020. Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Banners reading “Black Lives Matter” are hung on an apartment building as residents watch thousands of people march past to mark Juneteenth, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, June 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Two men walk with together their arms linked and fists raised as thousands of people march to mark Juneteenth, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, June 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Thousands took to the streets in Vancouver Friday (June 19) to participate in a Freedom March against racism, as one of the many events in North America celebrating Juneteenth.

Juneteenth began in 1865 in the U.S., celebrating the day that all enslaved black people learned they had been freed from bondage. It’s also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.

The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the south in 1863 but it was not enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War.

JUNETEENTH: A day of joy and pain – and now national action

This year, for many, the celebration served as more of a protest – coming at a time where citizens on both sides of the border are seeing a reckoning of systemic racism within policing, education and healthcare.

As of Thursday, organizers with the Movement for Black Lives said they had registered more than 275 Juneteenth weekend events across 45 states, through its website.

The Vancouver rally began at Jack Poole Plaza with emotional and courageous speeches, followed by a march to Sunset Beach. Organized by Shamika Mitchell and Nova Stevens, the march came two weeks after thousands gathered in the same area for an anti-Black racism protest.

On Friday, ports along the west coast of B.C. were quite, with International Longshore and Warehouse Union halting work for the better part of the day to support racial equality and social justice.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Indigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Surrey rally supports Mona Wang, calls for wellness check reform

Security camera footage shows Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check at UBCO

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m.

Filming applications ‘coming in slowly’ to the City of Surrey

Netflix cancels ‘Sabrina’, but filming manager says new calls coming in to film in Cloverdale

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 11: B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance

‘Did anything good come out of my son’s overdose death?’ – South Surrey mom

Maggie Plett says action still needed on recovery homes

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

Most Read