OTTAWA — Mayor Jim Watson has posted a lengthy thread on Twitter, speaking out against overt acts of racism and urging residents of Ottawa to stand against racism in all its forms.
The mayor’s comments come on the heels of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn. last week, which prompted demonstrations across the U.S. that have been met by heavily-armed police forces.
In his thread, Watson says racism is present in Ottawa and Canada.
“[W]hile the death of Mr. Floyd has focused most attention on the United States, we know that as a country, we are not immune to racism, or racist behavior, and we are far from perfect,” Watson said. “Racism is present in our midst.”
Watson said it is the obligation of every Canadian to denounce racism whenever it is witnessed, and he pointed specifically to acts of racism against people of Asian descent amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watson says he will be attending the “No Peace Until Justice” demonstration, planned for Friday afternoon at the U.S. embassy on Sussex Drive, though he urged attendees to practice proper pandemic measures, as COVID-19 is still in the community.
“While I know this is an important event, and I am encouraged by the positivity surrounding this particular gathering, we MUST remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is still present in our community. Let’s be safe, and avoid setting ourselves back weeks, or even months,” he said.
The headline of this article has been changed to better reflect the nature of Friday’s event at the U.S. embassy.