Content warning: Police violence and brutality
It’s been one year since the streets were flooded around the world with thousands of people marching for racial justice.
The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 spurred a movement of outrage, protest, and in a rare turn of events -- the outcome of a fair conviction.
The anniversary is a painful and solemn reminder that lives continue to be lost at the hands of the police; and most often, Black, Indigenous and people of colour.
The anniversary is an opportunity to look back and remember how far the movement has come, but how far it has yet to go.
Throughout the year of reflecting and unlearning, many people have dedicated themselves to being allies and anti-racist advocates. They called to defund the police, they called for accountability, and they called out the names of those lost to police brutality around the world.
Rodney Diverlus, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, is among one of those social justice advocates.
Diverlus said last year that you could really see that the groundwork of the Black Lives Matter movement had begun to grow. He said the major turning point was that they were able to start a conversation by explaining why it was important in the first place.
Now, coming up on a year later, Diverlus said the work has really begun, as community members follow up on the promises made last summer.
“Today we’re seeing the collaboration, support and solidarity between Black organizers and the Black global protests with that of Indigenous protests, with that of Palestinian protests--all in unison, calling for a just world,” said Diverlus.
In addition to the crucial solidarity that grew from the Black Lives Matter movement, we saw a few undeniable global shifts that were a direct result of the protests.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
What’s important to remember is that Canada is also complicit. It is clear that anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, hatred and violence by police forces is a form of terrorism that has plagued Canada for centuries.
Blatant denials that racism exists in Canada only serve those who benefit from silence.
The Black Lives Matter movement started from the ground up, and is now beginning to see the fruits of its decade-long fight.
But it must not stop. Now is the time to take the momentum that accumulated and focus it not just on individuals, but on systemic levels.
Tasheal is a screenwriter and poet who believes creativity fuels true happiness. She is studying her first year of Film Production at UBC. Tasheal first discovered her passion for telling stories when she typed up old manuscripts for her dad at the ripe age of 9. Ever since, she has fell in love with the art of storytelling. Tasheal is an Aquarius who uses sarcasm as a defence mechanism and enjoys binge-watching Frasier on a regular basis. Find her on instagram at @tashealgill