Over the past week, protests throughout North America over the deaths of Afro-Americans and Afro-Canadians at the hands of the police have brought attention to the tragic systemic racism that permeates our lives.
We have seen video footage of peaceful protestors met with paramilitary force; journalists targeted and arrested; and citizens fired on with tear gas and plastic bullets. But the devaluing of Black lives is not just seen in the street, it is seen in almost every aspect of our society from the criminal justice system to public health policy.
While the worst of the violence is occurring in the United States of America, Canadians must acknowledge the deep and damaging impacts of anti-Black racism, colonialism and the devaluing of persons of colour within our own national borders. Black and Indigenous citizens are unfairly singled out by police services, are more likely to be arrested, and more likely to be incarcerated. They are also more likely to be the victims of violence. It is essential that we acknowledge these disparities and demand better from our justice system, our elected officials and ourselves.
One of the core values of the Green Party is a culture of peace, but we also recognize that, as John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
We stand together with Black Islanders, Black Canadians and all racialized peoples, and we commit as elected members of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island to work towards ending oppression and building a more equal society.
Caucus of the Official Opposition of Prince Edward Island
May 31, 2020