Protesters standing up against police brutality and anti-Black racism are expected to fill Ottawa’s streets again on Saturday.
The march, organized by the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, is planned to begin at 3 p.m. in front of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) station on Elgin Street. The protest will then move north along Elgin Street towards Laurier Avenue, ending in front of Ottawa City Hall.
The latest demonstration follows a peaceful protest earlier this month, which saw thousands march through the streets of downtown Ottawa in solidarity with the Black community and victims of police violence across North America.
George Floyd protests: Justin Trudeau attends anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill
The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition formed in response to one of Ottawa’s highest-profile instances of police violence: the 2016 death of 37-year-old Abdirahman Abdi.
OPS Const. Daniel Montsion was charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon after Abdi, a Somali-Canadian man, died following an altercation with police.
Crown prosecutors have argued that Montsion, who struck Abdi multiple times while wearing reinforced gloves, showed a “reckless disregard” for Abdi’s health during the incident four years ago, while the defence has argued the use of force was justified amid reports of a disturbance at a nearby coffee shop and the victim’s alleged state of delirium.
All evidence has been presented in Montsion’s trial, which is expected to wrap up later this year.
In the years following Abdi’s death, the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition has been vocal about the need for police reform and accountability.
The group says it will deliver a list of further calls to action to address anti-Black violence at the conclusion of its march on Saturday.
The coalition says it has raised $3,000 from community members to cover organizational costs in advance of the protest.
Any excess proceeds will go towards a newly announced annual scholarship fund to support students who have overcome significant adversity in their lives.
The first Justice For Abdirahman Coalition Scholarship is available to a student of African descent set to study at a Canadian academic institution this fall. The deadline for application is Sept. 30.
Ottawa is due to face a heatwave this weekend with temperatures possibly hitting as high as 40 C with humidex.
As such, organizers are recommending participants bring water and umbrellas and wear sunscreen and hats in addition to masks for protection amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Masks will be available from organizers for anyone that doesn’t have one.
Anti-Black racism protest in Toronto calls to defund the police on Juneteenth
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.