RCMP ask for public’s help after anti-racism rally broken up in Red Deer

An anti-racism rally in Red Deer, Alta., on the weekend stopped before it got started.

What was supposed to be a peaceful protest ended when a group of men disrupted the march.

Video captured the back and forth that included yelling and some punches.

“I’ve ben discriminated in the past and I’ve been threatened and I don’t want to allow these hate groups to silence us,” said Cheryl Jaime Baptiste who is with Red Deer Against Racism.

Red Deer RCMP say they knew about the planned rally – but didn’t arrive until after the violence began.

“We certainly didn’t expect to see what we saw on Sunday,” said RCMP Supt. Gerald Grobmeier. “I don’t think anyone did.”

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said she supports the organizers of the anti-racism rally.

“We unequivocally denounce violence. We unequivocally denounce racism in our community.”

The RCMP is now looking for more information about who was involved in the anti-rally side of the fight asking for witness or victims to come forward.

Alberta’s justice minister says he’s in contact with the RCMP.

“I have spoken to RCMP Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zublocki and I reiterated the need to get to the bottom of this,” said Kaycee Madu.

Other recent rallies in Red Deer have been peaceful.

Video Journalist / Edmonton

Chris Stewart has been in the media for 20 years. He has worked at CBC, Global and CTV as a news camera operator and editor. Chris joined APTN in 2012 in the Saskatoon Bureau and moved to APTN Edmonton bureau in 2015 as a Videojournalist.