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Second rally against racism, police brutality set amid COVID-19 concerns

Last Updated Jun 2, 2020 at 8:26 pm PDT

FILE - Thousands of people gathered in Downtown Vancouver May 31 as part of a protest against racism and police brutality. (Patrick Swadden, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Another rally planned for continued fight against racial injustice, police violence in Vancouver on Friday

Organizer says they're doing all they can to keep demonstrations safe given the current pandemic

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A second rally against racial injustice and police brutality is slated for Vancouver on Friday after thousands protested peacefully last weekend.

Event organizer Jacob Callender Prasad is making sure that those who attend will have access to hand sanitizer stations and good spacing after the health authority has expressed its concern with the large gatherings.

“With what’s going on right now and the call for protests, we’re implementing strategies to make sure people are saying as safe as we can,” he says.

According to Prasad, organizers are alerting protesters to stay home when they are sick and take extra precautions.

He recommends that supporters who are ill or can’t make it to the rally can watch the protest online, donate to foundations they would like to support, or give what they can to bail funds throughout Canada.

“It’s a very conflicted concern because at one point you have a protest that needs to happen, we need to address the situation. The other unfortunate end of this is that we are in a pandemic right now as well. So, we are looking at ways to maybe push or stop one of the other protests planned this weekend, and just have one on Friday.”

Prasad adds organizers are working on creating a nonprofit.

This week B.C.’s Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, asked protesters to get tested for the virus and recommended protesters find other ways to show support.

“We know that right now, large gatherings remain very high-risk, even outdoors,” Henry said Monday. “Those who were there yesterday [Sunday], you may have put yourself at risk and you may bring that back to your home. You need to monitor yourself carefully over the next coming days to two weeks.

“If you have any symptoms at all, you need to self-isolate, you need to get tested, you need to be sure that you’re not contributing to further transmission of this virus.”

Although Prasad says, testing can be challenging for some people of low incomes.

“Most people who are in poverty do not have the resources or the possible means to be able to either stop working, or to go to the hospital because they don’t have a car, or can afford bus fare to go get the test that you need to get tested.”