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U.S. Embassy in Ottawa dimming lights for nine nights in honour of George Floyd
TORONTO -- The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa is dimming its lights in response to the widespread protest movement in the U.S. decrying police violence against Black people — a movement that has reached Canada.
The embassy announced the gesture in a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday, the first of the nine nights during which the lights will be dimmed.
“Beginning Thursday, June 4, The United States Embassy in Ottawa will dim its lights for nine nights in honour of George Floyd and in recognition of the upcoming march,” the statement read.
Many large protects have been taking place in the U.S. since last week over the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.
Canadians have also taken to the streets to march in support of the movement in the U.S., and to draw attention to Canada’s own issues with anti-Black racism and police violence.
A peaceful protest will be happening on the steps of the U.S. Embassy this Friday. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said he will be attending with his constituents.
In a June 2 tweet thread, Watson acknowledged that “racism is present in our midst.
"While 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,” he wrote.
The embassy said in its statement that while the dimming of the lights is symbolic of their support, “symbolic gestures alone will not end systemic racism.
“We stand in solidarity with the black community and those peacefully calling for justice, accountability, and reform.1