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'You have a right to be heard': Ottawa Police issue statement ahead of anti-racism march
OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Police Service says it is speaking with organizers of Friday’s anti-racism march in downtown Ottawa and all stakeholders to enable a “safe, healthy and positive event.”
The “No Peace Until Justice” march is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Friday on Parliament Hill. Organizers said on Thursday morning they would be announcing the march’s route at 10 a.m. on Friday.
Ottawa Police informed the public there will be a peaceful march in honour of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man killed last week. A former Minneapolis Police officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck is charged with second-degree murder, while three other officers on the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
“As the Nation’s Capital, Ottawa is the seat of democracy for the rest of the country; the voices and ideas of those who live here should be heard and shared,” Ottawa Police said in a statement Thursday morning.
“Public safety is a shared responsibility. We are working with organizers and all stakeholders to enable a safe, healthy and positive event. You have a right to be heard. And we will support that right by ensuring your safety.”
Ottawa Police say its role in the march is to “provide a safe space for people to grieve and be heard.” There will be road closures during the march.
“You may see some of our officers wearing a mask, or other Personal Protective Equipment, as recommended by Ottawa Public Health in the event they are unable to maintain physical distancing,” police said.
“As part of their COVID-19 protection equipment Ottawa Police are also provided gas mask, which they will be carrying with them.”