Peace & Equality walk goes without a hitch

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The Walk for Peace & Equality that was held in Slave Lake on June 20 had a modest turnout, but the organizer is pleased with how it went.

“We were very happy with the turnout we did get,” says Tina Marie Ritter. “The energy from the group was great and I think that we pulled together to do a great thing and I couldn’t be any happier with it.”

The walk started at the Hotel Northern Star at noon (roughly) and proceeded to the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre. Some carried signs expressing various opinions on themes of justice and fair treatment for all citizens. ‘Human rights are not a matter of opinion,’ said one of them.

The march did not, it should be noted, have an expressly anti-police tone, although the murder of George Floyd by police in Minnesota and the protests it sparked was mentioned in Ritter’s pre-walk remarks. Unequal treatment of minorities exists in Canada, she said.

“….Everyone deserves to be treated equally and with respect, regardless of their nationality or sexual identification,” she said. Ritter went on to detail some of the history of the ill-treatment of people based on race in this country.

Her remarks concluded thus: ‘Let us…constantly remember to stand up for one another when faced with hate and show them that our love is stronger and that we won’t end this conversation until everyone is safe in their skin and sexuality always!”

The only response from the public to the walkers was horn-honking from a few motorists passing by, which was taken as a sign of encouragement by participants.

This group was out on June 20 making a statement that unequal treatment based on race or sexuality, etc. is not acceptable.

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