Around 50 people participated in nine minutes of silence for George Floyd during an event in Summerland on the afternoon of June 6. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press)

Summerland memorial includes nine minutes of silence for George Floyd

Close to 50 gather Saturday to show support to African American community

Close to 50 people gathered in Summerland’s Memorial Park on Saturday to pay tribute to George Floyd, an African-American who died at the hands of police.

Following Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis, memorial events and demonstrations of solidarity have been held in communities across the United States and Canada.

Jane Curtin, the organizer of the Summerland event, said she is not affiliated with Black Lives Matter. Instead, she chose to get involved since she is a mother and has been thinking about how she would feel if her child had died in a similar manner.

READ ALSO: ‘It’s about equality’ says Penticton man rallying for Black Lives Matter

READ ALSO: ‘We either make a difference or we don’t’: Revelstoke teen leads protest in support of BLM

The event had people observing nine minutes of silence. The time frame was selected since Floyd died after a white police officer had pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for that period of time.

Anastasia Hernandez, who attended the event with her daughter Gabrielle, 8, was pleased with the tone of the Summerland event.

“It’s a beautiful expression of solidarity. It shows compassion and an openness to understanding.”

Others also said they wanted to see people come together as a result of the Summerland event.

“I think it brings people together,” said Bonnie Nesbitt.

“We all know this is important. It’s the core goal of every person.”

“We strongly believe in the oneness of humanity.” said Parissa Nahachewsky.

“It’s important to support one another.”

While Summerland Mayor Toni Boot attended, she did not do so in an official capacity.

“I’m here as a black woman who is the mother of two young men,” she said, adding that she appreciated the number of people attending the event.

“I think it’s very important. This is a great start to a conversation that includes all marginalized people in our community.”

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People held pictures of loved ones during the time of silence on Saturday. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press)

Black Lives Matter signs were shown during the time of silence on Saturday. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press)

Some of those in attendance kneeled as a sign of respect. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press)

Some of those in attendance kneeled as a sign of respect. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press) Some of those in attendance kneeled as a sign of respect. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press)

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