featured Racism

If I perish I perish, a speech by Dr. Lynn Jones

Photo Robert Devet

Among the many great speakers at Saturday’s huge #JusticeForRegis rally in Halifax was Dr. Lynn Jones, who has fought racism since she was a teenager. It was a remarkable speech and we are glad she allowed us to share it here.  


Someone said to me earlier today, Lynn, you’re not going down there, we’re in the middle of the pandemic. I said, it’s worse now than it ever was, and we got to stand up. You don’t let rain deter you, you don’t let the pandemic deter you. 

I have to go to my faith base to get strength and carry on. I don’t know about you, but I know where it comes from for me. When we come out and we stand up against all the injustices that have been occurring, it always reminds me of the women who are so strong. Like Esther in the bible, who after she had gone through unimaginable trials and tribulations said, I am going to stand up, and if I perish I perish!

I was thinking about all the feelings that I’ve gone through in this last little period of time, and I know all of you have as well. There are so many people that we’ve lost along the way, so many people, not only that we lost but that we’re also on the verge of losing. My heart’s just been tearing up. It’s just like someone went inside and pulled out something that’s never to come back. 

I didn’t know Regis, yet I feel as close as if she were my sister, as I am sure all of you are feeling. I know her family here in Nova Scotia, and I thought, how must they be feeling, can it get any worse? 

We have witnessed so many useless deaths. For example at Northwood, so many people that I knew there. There was the elder at the church that I attend, I just talked to her at our last service at Northwood, and she was so happy, you know, so blessed and she was blessing everybody else. And here she’s gone. And I was thinking of the Carvery family, their son was at church just before he passed away, and I thought, it can’t possibly get any worse. And then I saw what was happening at Minneapolis, and I was thinking, oh my God, Black lives never matter, when do our lives ever matter?  

I don’t see this as something we can rest from as we grow older. You don’t stop. Some people say, oh, let the young people take over. But as long as we do not have justice, as long as they continue to do what they do to us, there is absolutely not going to be any peace. Whether it is the pandemic, or whatever else comes our way, we will be on guard. No justice, no peace!   

See also: Halifax rally in support of #JusticeForRegis, and a poem by El Jones

See also: 45 years of activist history in eighteen boxes: the Lynn Jones African-Canadian & Diaspora Heritage Collection

This Monday evening, June 1st, there will be two further events protesting police violence in the US and Canada. At 7:45 it is Take a knee to make stand, at Park Lane, followed by No Justice, No Peace, Abolish the Police Blocko at 8:30 pm at Victoria Park.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you Lynn Jones
    The world will always be a better place with you in it. Your courage and strength is contagious.

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