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Rally marks International Day Against Police Brutality in Winnipeg

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A rally took over the steps of Winnipeg city hall to mark the International Day Against Police Brutality.

Protesters gathered for the rally, which was organized by Winnipeg Police Cause Harm, a group calling for the defunding of the Winnipeg Police Service

“The vision is we're looking to build a society where we co-create safety together, where everybody is responsible for and accountable to each other, and making sure that we're keeping each other safe,” said Inez Hillel, a member of Winnipeg Police Cause Harm.

“So it's not a society where we have police, and we're outsourcing that practice of safety. But instead, we're working together to make sure that everybody's material needs are met, everybody's emotional needs are met.”

A protester holds a sign at a rally marking the International Day Against Police Brutality on March 15, 2024. (Glenn Pismenny/CTV News Winnipeg)The rally comes on the same day the City of Winnipeg was hearing budget delegations. The proposed budget includes an increase of $31 million to the police service’s budget.

 

“What we're seeing is increases to the police budget at the same time (there are) cuts to community services,” Hillel said. "So the loss of the community connection space at the library, the defunding of public art, other life-saving services that aren't getting the funding that they require, while seeing increases in policing, like capital investments for new infrastructure for police.”

The rally is featuring multiple speakers, including relatives of people who have died following interactions with Winnipeg police, including Elias Whitehead and James Wood. Participants will take part in a march following speeches and a dinner after the rally.

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