‘We either make a difference or we don’t’: Revelstoke teen leads protest in support of BLM

Aza Deschamps, 17, organized the protest. “We either make a difference or we don’t,” she said. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Police estimated roughly 200 people attended. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstokians of all ages stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement on Thursday, June 4. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The protests have spread around the world. On June 4, there was a memorial service held for George Floyd in Minneapolis. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
George Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck until he stopped breathing. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstokians of all ages stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement on Thursday, June 4. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The protests have spread around the world. On June 4, there was a memorial service held for George Floyd in Minneapolis. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Protests against racism and police brutality erupted after a video of George Floyd’s death was circulated on social media. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstokians of all ages stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement on Thursday, June 4. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The protests have spread around the world. On June 4, there was a memorial service held for George Floyd in Minneapolis. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Protests against racism and police brutality erupted after a video of George Floyd’s death was circulated on social media. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstokians of all ages stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement on Thursday, June 4. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
“This is America,” Deschamps said. “Every day that we walk on this ground we walk on stolen land. A land built by slaves and abused workers. Our history is tragic but it is 2020 and we need to work together. We are all equal.” (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Organized by Aza Deschamps, 17, the protesters gathered in Centennial Park, some carrying signs and wearing masks to protect from COVID-19. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Organized by Aza Deschamps, 17, the protesters gathered in Centennial Park, some carrying signs and wearing masks to protect from COVID-19. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Organized by Aza Deschamps, 17, the protesters gathered in Centennial Park, some carrying signs and wearing masks to protect from COVID-19. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Aza Deschamps ended her speech by asking everyone to take 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time that officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck, to pray, think and reflect on their privilege. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
While the Revelstoke RCMP did not attend the event, they watched from a hill overlooking the park, through a gap in the trees with binoculars. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Revelstokians of all ages stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement on Thursday, June 4.

Organized by Aza Deschamps, 17, the protesters gathered in Centennial Park, some carrying signs and wearing masks to protect from COVID-19.

“George Floyd was not Canadian but this is America,” Deschamps said, standing on the pitcher’s mound in a ball diamond with a megaphone. “What affects our neighbours affects us. What affects our brothers and sisters affects us…we need to fight for them.”

Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck until he stopped breathing.

READ MORE: George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Protests against racism and police brutality erupted after a video of Floyd’s death was circulated on social media. City officials in Minneapolis alone estimate more than 220 buildings have been damaged or burned with damage costing $55 million thus far.

The protests have spread around the world. On June 4, there was a memorial service held for Floyd in Minneapolis.

“This is America,” Deschamps said. “Every day that we walk on this ground we walk on stolen land. A land built by slaves and abused workers. Our history is tragic but it is 2020 and we need to work together. We are all equal.”

Deschamps called on people of all ages to take a stand, saying she has been praised for taking action at such a young age.

“But what about the 16 year old child that already knows how to talk to an officer and explain that she is unarmed and cannot hurt them, just because of the colour of her skin,” Deschamps said. “What about the 12 year old boy that is already labelled an alcoholic just because he grew up on the reservation.”

Age doesn’t matter, she said.

“We either make a difference or we don’t.”

READ MORE: Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Deschamps ended her speech by asking everyone to take 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time that officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck, to pray, think and reflect on their privilege.

“Remember, at the end of this 8 minutes and 46 seconds George Floyd was gone,” she said. “But at the end of this time we will still have a life. We will have a voice. We will have a heart to love with and a mind to fight with.”

READ MORE: U.S. cities gird for more violence as Trump decries `lowlifes’

While the Revelstoke RCMP did not attend the event, they watched with binoculars from a hill overlooking the park.

The Revelstoke RCMP estimated roughly 200 people attended the protest.


 

@RevelstokeRevue
editor@revelstoketimesreview.com

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