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'It was the right place to be' : Halifax's mayor attends rally against racism

'We all have a role to play; we all have to do things to make it better,' said Mike Savage
060120 - take a knee make a stand
Thousands attend the 'Take a Knee, Make a Stand' rally against racism on Spring Garden Rd. on Monday, June 1, 2020 (Chris Halef/

Halifax's mayor was one of the thousands who gathered Monday night on or near Spring Garden Road to "Take a Knee, Make a Stand."

The peaceful protestors were asked to kneel for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time a video shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck.

"[The video] really struck me as a culmination of many years of anti-black violence and racism and it's just unacceptable. We have let people know it's not acceptable," Mike Savage said.

"We all have a role to play. We all have to do things to make it better."

Organizers encouraged those attending to rally to wear and mask and bring hand sanitizer, and the mayor said many were doing their best to keep a safe physical distance from others.

"The number of people there, it was a concern from the COVID-19 point of view, but also it's a very great concern when you see the continued incidents of anti-black racism, and lots of other kinds of racism as well," Savage told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show. 

"I just thought it was the right place to be."

Nova Scotia's top doctor said he fully supports the purpose of these protests, but he is concerned these rallies could result in the spread of the virus.

"It's important, while we do these in our communities, we at the same time are not creating the opportunity for the resurgence of COVID-19," said Dr. Robert Strang.

"If there was one or more people infected with COVID-19 in that crowd, it has the opportunity to really spread to large numbers of people."

He said wearing a mask in a situation like that is a good idea, but warned they won't completely eliminate the risk.

Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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