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A moving part of the "We Are One" demonstration was when a few in the crowd "took the knee" only to be quickly joined by most of the crowd, during an eight-minute, 46-second period of silence in memory of George Floyd. Photo: Reid Masson

We Are One brought 250 people together at peaceful protest in Vankleek Hill on June 12, 2020

The “We Are One” protest began when the parents of four young students wanted to attend a Black Lives Matter protest in a nearby city.

Their parents said no, but that didn’t stop Amelia and Anna Kouao and Nora and Georgia Dawood. Instead, the girls decided to organize a peaceful protest in their hometown.

They created a simple “We Are One” website, sought some advice in the community, organized their event and contacted the press to help them get the word out.

The peaceful protest rolled out quietly on Friday, June 12, and their guest speaker was activist Lynda Kitchikeesic, who has done a lot of work to improve the relationship between Indigenous peoples and police officers.

About 250 people showed up for the peaceful march, which made its way Vankleek Hill’s main intersection to Zudio at 144 High Street and then returned to the starting location where eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence honoured the memory of George Floyd, who died after a police officer in Minnesota pinned Floyd down with a leg on his neck, leading to Floyd’s death. In the aftermath of that incident, which was caught on video, protests and marches have been happening across North America and around the world.

SUBMITTED JUNE 17 2020 PHOTO OF BLACK LIVES MATTER ORGANIZERS WITH POLICE OFFICER
SUBMITTED JUNE 17 2020 BLACK LIVES MATTER BY REID MASSON (12)
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SUBMITTED JUNE 17 2020 BLACK LIVES MATTER BY REID MASSON (10)
SUBMITTED JUNE 17 2020 BLACK LIVES MATTER BY REID MASSON (9)
SUBMITTED JUNE 17 2020 BLACK LIVES MATTER BY REID MASSON (8)
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Submitted June 17 2020 Black Lives Matter by Reid Masson (8)_web

All four students say they were surprised and are grateful for the turnout for their event. But they know it is just a small part in the efforts needed to combat racism and to promote justice for Indigenous people.

But this, they say, is a step in the right direction.

The Review livestreamed the event in two parts: before the walk and at the end, during the period of silence.

You can watch that video here:

Louise Sproule

Louise Sproule has been the publisher of The Review since 1992. A part-time job after high school at The Review got Sproule hooked on community newspapers and all that they represent. She loves to write, has covered every kind of event you can think of, loves to organize community events and loves her small town and taking photographs across the region. She dreams of writing a book one day so she can finally tell all of the town's secrets! She must be stopped! Keep subscribing to The Review . . . or else!

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