Anti-immigrant rally set for Vancouver City Hall to be met by counter-protesters

August 18, 2017

By Simon Little, Global News |

In the wake of a racist rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Va. the City of Vancouver is set to hold its own pair of dueling demonstrations between anti-immigrant groups and counter-protesters.

A Saturday event dubbed the “WCAI Canada/CAP rally” has been posted to Facebook by right wing media group “ProperGander Promotions,” and lists speakers from several anti-immigrant groups.

That prompted a counter rally, organized by an ad-hoc group calling itself Stand Up to Racism Metro Van.

The Facebook post for the original rally was no longer up on Tuesday, but just 11 people had originally indicated they’d attend.

By Tuesday afternoon, more than 800 said they’ll attend the counter-protest.

Lisa Descary is one of the organizers with the counter-protest, who said the group came together in the wake of the horrifying images from Charlottesville.

“Given what happened in the ‘states, that’s what happens when these right wing racists go unopposed,” she said.

Descary said so long as groups don’t cross the line into hate speech they have the right to demonstrate, but said citizens have the right to come and tell them they’re wrong, too.

“We also have the right to show up and tell them that they’re the tiny minority. I think that some people misunderstand what free speech means, and they think it means that you can say things and other people don’t have the right to oppose you.”

Descary said her group is committed to peaceful protest and is taking steps to ensure the event doesn’t descend into violence.

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