COVID-19 disclaimer: As recommended by BC’s provincial health officer, if you choose to attend public demonstrations, please adhere to COVID-19 health safety measures, including proper physical distancing and wearing a mask.
The demonstration will begin at 4 pm PST in front of the Olympic Cauldrons. Anyone who chooses to participate is encouraged to bring signs and posters and is reminded to keep the protest peaceful.
Jacob Callender-Prasad, one of the event organizers, explains on Instagram that the protest was initially planned to take place at Vancouver’s Trump Towers and that it was meant to include a march. The event layout was ultimately changed over safety concerns.
“We do not believe it is smart to do this protest anymore in front of the Trump Tower,” Callender-Prasad says in a video. “Your guys’ safety is our top priority and we want to make sure you all stay safe.”
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He also touched on concerns over riots and looting, stressing that the event “needs to stay peaceful.”
“We do not want anything going wrong,” Callender-Prasad emphasized. “We don’t want any riots, we don’t want any fights, we would like to keep it peaceful.”
“If you are going to start a riot, you are not wanted. Nobody wants it, nobody wants to see the community that we work in get destroyed.”
He argues that violent actions only detract from what the protest stands for.
“This needs to stay peaceful,” says Callender-Prasad. “If this gets violent, we diminish everything we’ve worked for.”
It was also clarified that only one event would take place this weekend, especially amongst concerns surrounding COVID-19.
“There is no Saturday event, there is no Sunday event, we do not need three back-to-back protests, especially during COVID-19,” Callender-Prasad added.
Anyone who does participate in Friday’s protest is encouraged to wear face masks and spread out for additional safety. British Columbia’s top doctor has also asked that participants carefully monitor themselves for symptoms.
Earlier this week, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry explained that while she was “very pleased” with the demonstration, it’s important to remember that the pandemic is still ongoing.
“Monitor yourself carefully over the next coming days to two weeks, and if you have any symptoms at all, you need to self-isolate, you need to get tested, you need to ensure you’re not contributing to further transmission of this virus,” she stated.
“We also know that right now, large gatherings remain very high risk, even outdoors… you may have put yourself at risk and you may bring that back to your home.”
Sunday’s rally was attended by thousands of people in Vancouver’s downtown core. BC currently has an order in place around mass gatherings.
Daily Hive has reached out to protest organizers for further comment.