Calgarians gather in Olympic Plaza for Black Lives Matter vigil

Though it only lasted about an hour and a half, Saturday's vigil for Black Lives Matter was a powerful demonstration, honouring victims of police brutality.

A small candlelit display surfaced during the vigil this Saturday | LAYLA DART

This week’s Black Lives Matter movement wrapped up with a solemn vigil.

At 4 p.m. on Saturday, people gathered at Olympic Plaza to remember the black lives taken by police.

The massive crowd repeated name after name, as each of their stories were read out.

Names like Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Renisha McBride, Alton Sterling, and George Floyd (among countless others) rippled through the crowd.

PHOTO BY LAYLA DART / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

To further honour their memories, a moment of silence was held with numerous cellphones lit.

The original plan was to have a candlelit vigil, but the weather made that unsafe. However, a small candlelit display emerged once the vigil wrapped up.

Though this vigil wraps up officially planned events, the impact and importance of the movement they represent remains, say organizers.

An important movement

“This is the most important thing is Black peoples’ lives,” said Adora Nwofor, a primary voice of Calgary’s Black Lives Matter movement.

“We have been oppressed way too long, so it is now time for us to have a different story and experience.”

Nwofor has grown up in Calgary, and wanted to help amplify the voices of her community.

Though some may claim that racism doesn’t exist in Canada, Nwofor argues that it’s alive and well.

“I’m born here, I’m born in racism,” she said

“It’s time for us to talk about it, because I am done with that struggle.”

Hundreds gathered at Olympic Plaza Saturday. LAYLA DART / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

The demonstrations held throughout the week have brought in massive numbers.

Powerful chants and speeches echoed throughout the city on Monday and Wednesday, but today’s gathering was a little different.

The gathering held in Olympic Park was for the victims of police brutality.

A reminder of the Black lives lost to police brutality. LAYLA DART / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Small but heartfelt speeches were made, and the victims names were the only thing echoing through the square.

This vigil, unlike the events on Monday and Wednesday, only lasted about an hour and a half. After the main speeches were made, a majority of the crowd dispersed.

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