Yesterday’s rain didn’t stop a collection of anti-hate groups from protesting racism, xenophobia, and Bill 21 in the streets of Parc-Extension.
A group called Contre la haine et le racisme announced their plan to rally hundreds of people together to march against the CAQ government’s religious symbol ban and “to denounce the racism and xenophobia that oppress thousands of people every day.”
Yesterday’s march was the fourth Mass Demonstration Against Racism in consecutive years.
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“Racism has been a systemic problem in Québec and Canada for a long time,” states the group’s Facebook post from last week. “From residential schools to the genocide of Missing and Murdered Women, Girls and 2-Spirit People, from racial profiling by the SPVM to the new prison for migrants in Laval.”
The group cites a study by the Commission des droits de la personne et de la jeunesse, citing that hate crimes in Quebec had increased by 21% in 2016 and 49% in 2017 and that it’s “difficult to turn a blind eye and deny that there is racism” in the province.
This year, the march took place through Parc-Extension, a “neighbourhood mostly inhabited by racialized people where many immigrants settle when they arrive in Canada.”
The rally protested the effects of gentrification in predominantly migrant areas like Park-Ex and Chinatown where people are driven away to make room for the wealthiest in society.
Marchers were also rallying against Bill 21, which forbids civil servants in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols at work.
Demonstrators said they will not stop marching until Bill 21 is abolished.