Protesters take a knee along Woodbine Ave

By Michelle Poirier

Two Black Lives Matter protests were held in Georgina last week, demanding an end to anti-black racism.

The first protest was held by Shelby Orgar, who grabbed a piece of cardboard, wrote “# Black Lives Matter” on it, and posted to the Facebook group, Connecting in Georgina, inviting people to join her outside the Zehrs plaza on June 1 to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Going to be protesting along Woodbine, in front of the Zehrs plaza for a good cause! Come join if your health is well, and you’re wearing a mask,” she posted.

Ms. Orgar only had her two friends join her as the protest was a last-minute decision; she went out after she finished work at 3:30 pm and stayed until around 6 pm. She said she did have cars honking and giving her thumbs up while passing by.

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Shelby protesting on Woodbine Ave

The second demonstration was much larger, nearly 200 people attended a protest for Black Lives Matter on June 6 at 10 am. They marched from The Georgina Ice Palace to Walmart and back along Woodbine Ave.

Becky Cameron and her sister, Heather Cameron, who live in Keswick, hosted this protest. They made an event on Facebook and invited anyone who would like to show support to attend, reminding them to wear a mask and keep physical distance.

“We wanted to host the protest because we felt strongly about the underlining racism in our community. We wanted to stand in solidarity with the black people in our community and spread the message of equality, love and peace,” Becky Cameron said.

Becky, Heather and their children

The Facebook post by Ms. Orgar inviting people to join her protest has over 800 comments. Although a lot of people were supporting Ms. Orgar and sharing educational information, others were laughing, saying they did not want this brought to Georgina, and saying “all lives matter.”

“There were a lot of good comments, and people like that in society are who make a difference. The people who say ‘all lives matter,’ like, of course, they do, but that’s not the point right now. The focus is on Black Lives Matter because of all the stuff going on,” Ms. Orgar said.

Ms. Cameron said she also received some backlash online but ignored it and focused on all the positive support.

“The people driving by were incredibly supportive; there were cars that looped around the entire march with signs in support. It was beautiful,” she said.

If you would like to learn more about Black Lives Matter, visit blacklivesmatter.com.

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