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Trump flags and 'All Lives Matter' signs sparked 'tensions' at march

Police intervened twice to keep the peace; no arrests were made
The crowd marched along First Street while local police redirected traffic to make room for the marchers. Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

During yesterday’s Black Lives Matter solidarity march, police intervened to keep the peace on two occasions.

The march took place on Sunday, June 14 with a large group (several hundred) leaving town hall around 6:30 p.m. and walking along Hurontario and First Street to the Awen Gathering Circle at Harbourview Park where the group stayed for a series of speeches.

Before the marchers left town hall, two black pickup trucks with Trump flags drove along Hurontario Street slowing down as they passed the group and revving their engines.

They looped around and drove past again, but the second time, a few protesters stood on the street at the crosswalk blocking the path of the trucks. The trucks stopped and a stand-off began.

A police officer arrived within minutes and cleared the area quietly and with little to no resistance. The marchers returned to the sidewalk and the trucks drove away.

Constable Martin Hachey of the Collingwood OPP said another incident occurred toward the end of the march when “a few persons attended with ‘All Lives Matter’ signs.”

Hachey noted this caused some “tensions” at the march.

He said officers intervened again and were able to keep the peace.

No arrests were made during either two incidents.

Several members of the OPP were present for the march, directing traffic away from the streets where the marchers were walking, and controlling traffic at each intersection as the march passed through.

The committee that organized the Black Lives Matter solidarity march on Sunday released a statement signed by all five members: Jane Walker, Brianne Blackman, Susan Wismer, Gloria Nafziger, and Liw Bringelson.

“Agressions large and small like the ones we are aware of (we expect there may have been others that we didn’t hear about) that took place at this event emphasize the need for ongoing anti-racist work in our community,” reads the statement.

The committee noted the two incidents fall within the “spectrum of violence that racialized people experience in their day-to-day lives in our town.”

“We deeply regret any incidence in which people who attended this event did not feel safe,” said the statement from the committee. “As organizers, we were inspired by the commitment of so many to stand up for anti-racism and we look forward to being involved in continuing action to address systemic racism in our community.”

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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