‘Winnipeg is listening’: Bowman responds to Black Lives Matter protests in United States and Canada

By | June 2, 2020

WINNIPEG — Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said it’s time for unity among Winnipeggers following protests and rallies across North America sparked by the death of a black man in Minnesota at the hands of police.

The mayor spoke Tuesday afternoon, reflecting on what the city is planning to do to address racism. Bowman said Winnipeg residents are hurting following the incident, and they need to know their voices are being heard.

“If you’re a member of the community who is hurting or angry because of racism, I want you to know that Winnipeg is listening,” he said. “I want you to know that you are a valued part of the community.”

The protests and rallies across Canada and the US have been sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died last week in Minnesota after a police officer pressed a knee into his neck.

READ MORE: George Floyd’s death sparks protests across U.S.

“I know that I can never fully appreciate the experience of all racialized communities, or the acute pain that Mr. Floyd’s death is causing the Black community in Minneapolis, throughout the United States, and in our own city, but I’m trying to learn,” Bowman said, adding he has reached out to members of the community for dialogue.

A Black Lives Matter rally is scheduled for Friday at the Manitoba Legislature for 6 p.m.

Winnipeg’s deputy mayor Markus Chambers and Coun. Sherri Rollins announced on Tuesday they plan to attend the Justice 4 Black Lives Matter rally.

In a news release, the councillors said they are concerned about the “deep and persistent structural racism and inequity seen in Winnipeg, across the country, and in the United States.”

“The publicized deaths in Winnipeg and elsewhere have hit both our families and the community hard,” Rollins said in a news release. “I am grateful to those calling for a new structural relationship that emphasizes public safety in terms of investments in playgrounds, parks and community services.”

This is a developing story. More to come.

-with files from the Associated Press and CTV’s Danton Unger

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