Anti-racism car rally in Nanaimo now planned for July 25

Organizers of a Nanaimo anti-racism car rally that was postponed due to threats of violence now plan to hold the event on July 25.

“We will do so doubly committed to taking a stand against racism and all forms of hate,” said the group, calling itself the Nanaimo/Ladysmith Spoke organizers.

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The group is inviting others communities to stage anti-racism car rallies on the same day.

“We hope you will come out and join us in reclaiming our community spaces and proclaiming our values of dignity, respect, and belonging for all,” it said in a statement.

The Nanaimo rally had been planned for June 20 but on June 18 a threatening email came in.

It had the subject line “Anti-White Rally” and included a threat to shoot every person who took part in the car rally, the group said. The message was signed with white supremist tags and sent from an anonymous email address.

The next day, organizers noticed that some of the group’s event posters had been torn down, the group said.

“After much discussion and consultation, the difficult decision was made to postpone the anti-racism car rally.”

The threat was a “crude reminder of the racism and wilful ignorance we know exists in our communities, and of the deep-seated nature of the biases and prejudices we as a group exist to counter,” the statement said.

Nanaimo/Ladysmith Spoke is a grassroots collective established to address racism and hate crimes. It is part of the Resilience B.C. Anti-Racism Network.

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