VANCOUVER — They showed up at Vancouver's city' hall to take a stand against racism and hate. And they kept showing up. Until there were thousands.
About 4,000 people joined a rally that was a counter-protest to a planned anti-immigration rally dubbed "WCAI Canada/CAP rally" according to Global News. Several speakers from anti-immigration and anti-Muslim groups were slated to speak on Saturday.
But what wasn't accounted for was an opposition crowd so large that a busy road in the area had to be closed to vehicle traffic.
Reports say the anti-racism rally greatly outnumbered the original planned rally, which had only a couple dozen attendees listed on the now-defunct Facebook page, CTV News said.
So, love, diversity and acceptance stood strong. And it brought signage.
Signs reading "live with love" and "diversity = strength" were spotted throughout the packed crowd, and rally speakers talked about tolerance and the need for a more inclusive society.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson told those gathered that the city will not stand for hatred or inequality:
But there's work still to be done to spread the message of understanding, he said.
A handful of individuals opposing the anti-racism protesters showed up and were quickly ushered away by police when verbal confrontations appeared as though they could become physical. Police said five arrests were made for Breach of the peace.
But the other few thousand kept standing. And Vancouver was proud.
With files from The Canadian Press
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