Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, has released the following statement in response to the recent postponement of a Resilience BC anti-racism network rally in Nanaimo and Ladysmith due to threats of violence:
“Over the weekend, one of our Resilience BC anti-racism network partners was planning an anti-racism car rally in Nanaimo and Ladysmith. However, the organizers received threats of physical violence from individuals, leading them to make the decision to postpone their event.
“These threats are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I strongly condemn the behaviour of these individuals and offer my support to the staff and organizers of the car rally and all their community partners.
“This incident is further proof of why it’s so important that we continue to oppose racism and discrimination, which has seen an increase in our province throughout the pandemic.
“We must come together as a society to speak out against racism and show our support for Nanaimo and Ladysmith, as well as other communities in the province that are experiencing racism. We all stand to benefit when we live in a society that is free of hatred and discrimination.
“This week, as we mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, we must also recognize the impact that systemic racism, discrimination and intergenerational trauma continues to have on Indigenous peoples. We must continue to work in partnership with Indigenous communities to advance reconciliation and build a more equal and more inclusive British Columbia for generations to come.
“The threats of violence will not scare or intimidate us into submission. It only strengthens our resolve. When this anti-racism car rally does take place, I will show my support by attending the event.
“Our government stands alongside anyone in our province who is facing racism. Should you witness or become the victim of a hate crime, I encourage you to report it to your local authority or reach out to the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network for support.”
For more information on what to do if you see or are the victim of hate crime, visit: www.resiliencebc.ca