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Mayor Ed Holder’s Statement on Black Lives Matter Protest

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Friday, June 5th, 2020

Let me state, in no uncertain terms, that anti-Black racism exists, systemic racism exists, and both exist in London, Ontario. This is not a personal opinion, it is reality.

Whether it’s 'better' or 'worse' in our city compared to elsewhere is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it happens, and that it happens on a regular basis in ways both overt and subtle. What matters is that we collectively commit as Londoners – as human beings – to the eradication of anti-Black racism.

Action – that’s what truly matters. And, Black Lives Matter.

The protest taking place this Saturday in Victoria Park has been organized by five, young Black women from London. They have my respect, and my admiration. They have made it clear that this is to be a peaceful protest. They have stressed repeatedly the need for appropriate physical distancing, while also fundraising to secure personal protective equipment for those who attend.

For my part, based on recommendations from public health authorities, and to abide by directives contained under Ontario’s Declaration of Emergency, I will not be attending Saturday’s event in person. I do, however, plan to watch, and listen intently, online. I have been telling Londoners for the last 10 weeks to avoid large gatherings as we are in the midst of a deadly pandemic. This has been, and will remain my approach until it is safe to do otherwise. At the same time, I do not question those who make a different decision on Saturday. Their hurt, their pain, their frustration, and their fatigue is real. For those who are impacted, anti-Black racism itself is a lethal public health issue, one that predates the onset of COVID-19.

As my colleague, Councillor Mo Salih, said earlier this week: "London isn't innocent." The path towards redemption must have only one outcome: the eradication of anti-Black racism.

This effort has my full support, and dedication. I commit to providing space for, learning from, and listening to those with lived experience. I commit to using my influence as Mayor to ensure those in similar leadership positions do the same. I will ensure the voices of those without 'titles' (especially those without titles) are directly involved in developing solutions.

My hope is everyone taking part in Saturday's protest stays safe and stays healthy.

Beyond Saturday, my expectation is that all Londoners are ready to take part in the important work that’s to follow.

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Reported on(发布时间):
2020年09月30日 星期三,下午04:00

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