Vancouver is gearing up for a massive event on Friday afternoon. The Black Freedom Society has organized a Juneteenth event called the "Freedom From Hate March." According to the Facebook event, attendees will be taking to the streets at 4 p.m. at Jack Poole Plaza. It will then head "down Thurlow, where traffic will be blocked, ending at Sunset Beach," says the page.
The Facebook event further describes the aim of the protest, explaining that its purpose is to "educate everyone in attendance about the current issues and possible solutions that black people face and how to be an ally for us now when we need you."
The page also reiterates several times that this is a peaceful protest meant to listen, learn, and educate.
While protests of this nature have been common in Vancouver, Canada, and globally over the past couple of weeks, this protest falls on Juneteenth, which is a recognized holiday in 46 of the 50 U.S. states.
Juneteenth is on June 19 and commemorates a significant day in the emancipation of slaves.
“Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers [...] landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free,” explains the Juneteenth website.
Attendees are asked to wear all black to "show solidarity."
Once the march gets to its final destination at Sunset beach, there will be a stage with speakers of all backgrounds, says the event page.
The organizers have also put forth a number of COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. The protest will be live-streamed so people are invited to stream from home.
People are asked to wear masks and gloves, bring hand sanitizer, and maintain a distance from other attendees.
To expand upon what sort of freedom the march is all about, the page explains "Freedom from oppression, from discrimination, from brutality, from profiling and from every injustice that has been directed at us. We are marching towards a better future."
The protest intends to make history and show the government that they are ready to see systemic change.
"Join us in making history through positive action! Let’s march together for freedom."