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'We welcome it': Lethbridge police chief fine with Thursday's city hall protest
Protestors will march at city hall in Lethbridge Thursday for Black Lives Matter and the city's police chief says he welcomes it.
LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. -- Protestors will gather at city hall Thursday for a rally encouraging an end to racial injustice in Lethbridge - and that's fine by Lethbridge police chief Scott Woods.
“We encourage it, we welcome it. You know people can be reserved about it and let’s do it calmly and peacefully,” said Woods on Wednesday.
Thursday's protest is organized by Group United Against Racial Discrimination. It’s set to be held at city hall from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those attending are encouraged to wear shirts or hold up signs protesting against racial discrimination.
Woods said the important thing was to keep the focus on the theme of the protest.
“That’s important ,because what really gets lost is the cause, right?" said Wood. "Really, the underlying story of what is trying to go forward is for policing to have a look at some of the things that are going on."
In a statement the chief said “All of us have been shaken by the tragic death of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. More than the deeply personal grief of Mr. Floyd’s family, this inexcusable event serves as a sobering reminder of the duty we all have to respect and honour every person in our community.”
During Woods' media availability Wednesday, three people gathered outside the police station. They were looking to raise awareness about problems in the city’s own back yard.
“The police have been completely negligent especially when it comes to Indigenous lives,"said Kladi Mwansa who was protesting outside the station.."You know what happens at Galt Gardens at night and there is a lot of policing.”
The group is encouraging precautionary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 by asking people to bring their own hand sanitizer, face masks and stand two meters apart from each other.