Yesterday, on November 25, more than 500 people gathered at the downtown campus of McGill University, to stand in solidarity with the on-going events in Ferguson, Missouri. The candlelight vigil was organized by the Black Students’ Network of McGill, after the Grand Jury decided not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown.
At the beginning of the vigil, the organizers read out the names of Michael Brown, Treyvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Marcellus Francois, Sami Yetim, Sean Bell, among many more. What all these names have in common is that they have been targets of racial violence, or police brutality. After the names were read, the demonstrators stood in silence and remembrance for four minutes.
“We know it’s cold, we know it’s windy. But we hope that moments like this will create real change, and that we will be able to see it in our lifetimes,” said one of the organizers to the crowd. “We will not forget the names of those whom we have mentioned, and the countless other names that we have not.”
One of the demonstrators decided to share a poem with the crowd.
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Another demonstrator, who declared that her name was not important at this point, also addressed the crowd.
“Our initial reaction is not necessarily always anger, or outrage. It is fear. And that is something that we have to admit to ourselves. Last night, while everyone was watching the live cast, everyone was blogging about it, tweeting about it, facebooking about it, inboxing everybody, inboxing each other, and I just stood there in front of the screen and cried. I cried this time, and I cried last time. Yes, a life was lost, but there was no justice served. Which means, that now it is basically open season on our asses. It really is. And I said this last year, and no one listened, and I don’t want to have to be here next year to remind you of that.”
You can listen to the rest of her speech here.
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The vigil ended with the demonstrators singing Amazing Grace in memory of those who are no longer with us.
Montreal Vigil in Solidarity w
Click on the picture above to open the gallery. All photography by Gerry Lauzon.