MOSCOW, November 26 (Sputnik) — White people were told by organizers to not appropriate a recent vigil for Michael Brown and Ferguson in Canada, sparking intense debate on social media.
The same suggestion was posted on the Facebook page of a similar event in Toronto.
Arte’s post attracted nearly 300 comments, prompting one user, Hamdi Loukoum, to ask: “Wow, is this an anti-racist rally or a pro-segregation one?”
In response to the appeal Darian Parsons, stated: “I'm not sure why white people would have to refrain from taking up space…. won't that push them away from coming to support and won't it help to have support from the whole world, not just the black community…? I think it would be a terrible idea to ask non-black people to not talk to the media.”
The peaceful rallies were held in Ottawa and Toronto under the banner “BlackLivesMatter” following a night of rioting in Ferguson, sparked by the grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer who fatally shot the African-American teenager. Thousands have reportedly participated in the two vigils braving cold weather.
“Our message is that black lives matter,” said Janaya Khan, one of the organizers of the Toronto vigil, as quoted by the Global News. “Our message is that we unequivocally stand against the no indictment ruled in favour of Darren Wilson and that we completely support Mike Brown and Mike Brown’s family. We support any kind of actions against state sanctioned violence and police brutality and we want to draw parallels to what is happening here in Canada to black and African peoples.”
Thirty-eight US states, Washington DC and over 140 other US cities have organized demonstrations throughout the day on Tuesday under the banner of “Emergency Response Protests to Ferguson Grand Jury Decision”.