Kamloops Coun. Arjun Singh criticized U.S. president Donald Trump during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Singh said said racism still exists and argued the president is stoking that division.
“I’m horribly upset by the actions of the U.S. president,” Singh said, referencing Trump’s comments, tweets and actions.
On Monday, Trump spoke to reporters on the lawn of the White House and vowed to be the “law and order president” as the explosions of flash grenades and noise from nearby Lafayette Square competed with the president’s words.
Trump had arranged to have military police clear from the park peaceful protesters, including clergy from the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House.The church suffered minor damage the previous night during protests.
Police used smoke cannisters or tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets.
Trump finished his remarks, then, with a large security contingent left the White House grounds, crossed the street and posed in front of the church, an upside-down Bible in his hand.
The actions — using police to disperse peaceful demonstrators to stage a photo-op — has led to criticism from various groups and people, including Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
Various news reports suggested Trump wanted to be seen outside the White House gates after being angered by stories detailing that he had hidden in a White House bunker during protests near the White House on the weekend.
Singh said he supports the local protest planned for Riverside Park on noon on Thursday. Singh said council has over the years done work to promote diversity and inclusivity, noting he is proud of the community’s history in that respect.
“I support the protest,” Singh said. “I would hope that it’s done in a way that’s safe, in terms of COVID, and in terms of the distancing we need.”
He also encouraged residents to take the #DifferentTogether pledge on social media to oppose racism and hate.