Black and Indigenous Alliance Alberta criticizes Ponoka RCMP

A.J. Fallenchild speaks in front of the Ponoka RCMP building Monday, Sept. 14. Photo by Emily Jaycox

Tension between two groups came to a head outside the Ponoka RCMP detachment on Monday, Sept. 14, amid ongoing allegations that someone had been hit by a vehicle during a previous set of protests on Sept. 10.

Black and Indigenous Alliance Alberta (BIAA) members attempted to hold a news conference in front of the detachment Monday at noon, but were largely drowned out by two men loudly protesting the conference, believed to be from out of town.

One man, who did not identify himself, used a megaphone and interrupted the treaty lands acknowledgement as BIAA tried to start the conference. He went on to interrupt the conference a number of times, including by playing music.

The man repeated “Antifa go home” several times and made other comments throughout the conference.

“As you can see, these people are clearly not allowing free speech at this moment … as you can see, these are the aggressors, these are our terrorists,” said Kisha Daniels, one of the BIAA founders.

The clashing between the groups initially happened on Sept. 10. A group of protesters of various causes gathered in front of the McDonalds at 2:30 p.m., and BIAA arrived across the road at about 3:30 p.m. for their weekly protest against racism.

It was during this time that a person was allegedly hit by a vehicle

READ MORE: UPDATED: RCMP investigating alleged vehicle hit

During the press conference, a group gathered on the opposite corner said they were from Ponoka.

According to Ponoka resident Joe Landsman, they came to see what BIAA would say and if they would repeat racial slurs they allegedly said on Sept. 10.

Callum Daniels, one of BIAA’s founders, gave some background information on the group and the weekly protests they have been holding in Ponoka and Wetaskiwin for the past several weeks.

“We are regular Albertans, who have been asked by our fellow Albertans if there was anything we could do to bring attention to racial inequities.”

“There has been a lot of misinformation in regards to the event that happened, Thursday, Sept., 10, 2020 at one of our Black and Indigenous Alliance peaceful protest to bring awareness to racial inequities within the community of Ponoka,” A.J. Fallenchild said, the third founder of BIAA.

Kisha says her group was “goaded, harassed” and called racial slurs during the past six weeks they have been protesting in Ponoka.

READ MORE: Anti-racism protesters march in Ponoka

According to Kisha, BIAA group saw on social media on Wed., Sept. 9, that “white supremacist hate groups were convoying from Calgary to be aggressors at a peaceful protest.

“These people and their affiliated groups are not shy about their hate and conspiracy theories against racialized folk.”

Kisha says she made a call the to RCMP detachment on Thursday morning, notifying them about the potential threat of the convoy members.

“The overall actions of the Ponoka RCMP involved on the events on Thursday were deplorable, with the exception of Black and Indigenous Alliance interaction with Sgt. St.-Cyr,” she said.

“The RCMP should have done what they are required to do and that is protect and serve. What happened instead, is that the RCMP officers on site told our peaceful protest group that these racist white supremacist groups have the right to approach us … thereby not making the choice to protect bodies of racialized people and our allies.”

Kisha claimed RCMP members “laughed as they drove by the scene of the vehicle assault of one of our members. Very unprofessional action.”

Their other grievance stated was that an officer only spoke to white allies of their group, not the people of colour.

Kisha says their group was “targeted” after an alleged fictitious complaint about them to the RCMP, and claimed RCMP actions created a false narrative for passerby’s, giving the impression that Black and Indigenous people are dangerous.

Staff. Sgt. Chris Smiley took a few questions at the end of the press conference.

Smiley says the RCMP’s role is to preserve the peace on all sides and allow everyone to have their say, and as long as nobody is being assaulted, to give everyone the room to express themselves.

“I’m glad we live in a country where we are allowed to do that,” he said in a phone call after the conference.

“Each side gets to have their say, and our constitution protects them.”

The matter of the alleged vehicle hit and run from last week remains under investigation. Smiley noted that no video footage of the incident has been received from the public at this time.

“We took some criticism today but I’m proud of the men and women in our office and how they handled themselves on Thursday and today.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

PonokaPonoka RCMPprotest

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

county
After unsuccessful attempts to contact owner, Throne property going to tax sale

Bidding will be closed as of the first council meeting in February of 2021

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

Damien Kurek
COLUMN: Local MP Damien Kurek on ensuring that there is a plan for recovery

‘Canadians deserve answers, and the Official Opposition has been there trying to get them.’

Heart
Online sessions help participants improve heart health

Heart Wise offers effective strategies to manage cholesterol and blood pressure

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owners found

Father and son found him while out for a walk at JJ Collett

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read