Following the unprecedented protests that spread across the globe, the words of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement have been painted on the streets of a number of cities in the USA and in Toronto – with Montreal now joining the movement. On Tuesday July 14th, people from community groups, activists and artists took to the streets along Sainte-Catherine St. East, between St-Hubert and St-Andre – with paint brushes, rollers, tape and spray paint cans in hand. They began by outlining the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘La Vie des Noirs Compte’ almost as wide as the streets and close to one block long, and then painters began filling it in with white paint. They will be painting it in several colors before it is completed on Wednesday.
Their goal is to bring more to the awareness to the racial inequalities and prejudices towards Black people. A report from October 2019, showed that Black people were stopped 4.2 times more often for street checks by police, Indigenous people 4.6 times (Indigenous women were stopped 11 times more often than white women) and Arabic people 2 times more often. It is time for changes to happen and Montreal needs to be part of this conversation.