“This is not a protest, it’s a gathering,” said Chaplain Maureen (Mo) Pigeon who helped organize the ‘take-a-knee’ event in Southampton. “We will do our part to say no to racism.”
Tonight, June 8th, was a warm and calm evening in Southampton on the shore of Lake Huron as (by ‘guesstimation’), more than 200 mostly-masked people took a knee in complete and moving silence to honour George Floyd, who was recently killed by a policeman in the United States, and for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
Among those who were there were residents of Saugeen First Nation, residents of Port Elgin and Saugeen Shores Police and member of Council (Jami Smith).
Saugeen Shores Police Chief, Mike Bellai, says that, “The Saugeen Shores Police Service is committed to the safety and security of all members of our community. As a community police service, we have been listening to the heartbreak of communities affected by racism—and we are committed to doing our part to eliminate racism and its effects when it comes to delivering bias-free policing. The Saugeen Shores Police Service is based on respect, honesty, diversity, courage and community trust. We must all trust and support each other as we continue to fight for equality in our community.”
He added that there was a time when police in municipalities and cities regularly walked the streets and got to know the residents but over the years it was discontinued. “We have gone back to ‘Walking the Beat’ several years ago here in Saugeen Shores and Ontario. It creates a bond of trust between the police and residents, store owners and others and an awareness that we care about the community.”
Eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence
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