CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) has released a route map for a peaceful demonstration planned for tomorrow, Saturday, June 6, in honour of George Floyd.
George Floyd of Minneapolis was killed on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd’s death sparked protests against systematic racism and has lead to clashes with police in many U.S. cities.
“In honor of the death of George Floyd, Regis korchinski-paquet and hundreds of other men and women of color we are holding a PEACEFUL protest,” reads a statement on the event’s Facebook page. “If any one becomes violent everyone is to take a knee to show police who is being violent and who is peacefully protesting. No lives matter until Black lives matter.”
The organizers state that there will be volunteers who have first aid and CPR experience in the crowd.
The protest is expected to begin at 1 p.m. in front of City Hall on Pitt St. The protest will then march south to Water St., along Water St. to Cumberland St., up Cumberland St. to Ninth St., then across to Pitt St. and back down to City Hall.
CPS notes the following streets will be affected by closures or partial closures:
- Pitt Street (between Ninth Street and Water Street)
- Water Street (west-bound lane closed)
- Cumberland Street (north-bound lane closed)
- Ninth Street (east-bound lane closed)
“The CPS has been working closely with the organizers of the event to ensure that participants can safely share their messages, while adhering to the necessary health recommendations,” reads a CPS statement.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) released the following guidelines to help promote safety from COVID-19 during the demonstration:
Please do the following to protect yourself and others:
- At all times, try to keep a minimum distance of 2 metres (6 ft) from other participants.
- Wear a mask for added protection. Avoid touching your face or the mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and use it often.
- Instead of shouting to express your support, use signs, drums or musical instruments.
- Avoid sharing with others (i.e. food, water, poster, etc).
Following the demonstration:
- Remove and wash your clothes immediately.
- Shower as soon as you can.
- Disinfect any materials that you carried.
- Monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested if needed.
- Avoid contact with those who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease (e.g. older people, those with pre-existing health conditions).
“To ensure the safety of everyone involved, the CPS is asking motorists to consider alternative routes during the time of the protest,” the CPS statement reads. “We appreciate the cooperation of our community in this event. The CPS wants all of the participants to be able to share their messages safely. We will be making every effort to ensure a safe, healthy and positive event.”