Since the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in Minnesota, on March 25 last, rallies protesting racism and police brutality have been held in the United States, Canada and many other countries around the world.
But police violence continues to make the news and protesters have themselves become targets of attacks by police and civilians.
Only last Saturday, two protesters were attacked with a hockey stick in Winnipeg after a rally in that city. The violent scene was captured on video and is now circulating on social media.
According to the protester who was struck first, the incident started a short time after a Black and Indigenous Lives Matter rally which was held on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature.
He said he and a friend were marching towards the Canadian Museum of Human Rights where a round dance was set to take place and as an act of peaceful protest he decided to lie down on the street for a moment in front of cars.
At that point a woman inside a car began yelling racial slurs and when he got up from the road, the car moved aggressively passed him.
Was this an attempted car-ramming ? Or was the driver of the car just trying to scare the protester ? We may never know.
And what about the protester himself ? Was he not placing himself in unnecessary danger by lying on the street with motor traffic behind him?
He said the car then stopped and the woman came out of the vehicle with a hockey stick and struck him twice on the arm.His friend was also struck on the head with the hockey stick.
Fortunately, the injuries were not life-threatening but the incident remains a matter of deep concern.
Jylah George-Marie Shallcross, the event organizer , said she believes that the attack was racially motivated.
A witness who captured the incident on video, recorded the suspects’ license plate and gave it to the police.
We hope that the Winnipeg Police take prompt action in this matter.
This incident is certainly is not an isolated case of an attack on peaceful protesters.
In fact some well-informed observers say it now seems as if it is “open season” on protesters.
Lately, we have been told of a growing number of cases in the United States of right-wing extremists who have using their cars as weapons against protesters.At least 50 vehicle-ramming incidents have been reported in the United States since protests against police violence erupted across the United States with the killing of George Floyd.
We roundly condemn these attacks on protesters and we hope that good sense prevails and this pandemic of racial violence comes to an end sooner than later.