About 1,000 people attended an anti-racism rally in Courtenay on Thursday in response to the apparently racially motivated attack on a black man last week.

Jay Phillips, 38, who is seen being kicked and punched by three white men in a video posted on YouTube, said the support he has received since the incident has been overwhelming.

“I’ve had calls from people all around Canada, people I don’t even know supporting me,” Jay said. “I heard people were talking about this in India, in Moscow, Paris, London.”

“There was a lineup of people coming up to me to hug me,” the father of a nine-month-old boy said about the rally.

“I had tears in my eyes all morning.”

His mother, Kirsten Phillips, said she’s also grateful for the support.

“What I’d like to do is publicly thank the person that had the courage to record it,” she said.

“I hope that the world sees that it’s not all of Courtenay. I just hope that the world sees that Courtenay is a wonderful place to live and we’re staying and we’re happy with Courtenay, we’re happy with the people rallying behind my son.”

Phillips added that one of the attackers has sent them a letter apologizing.

“It’s a start but it’s a little too late. They should have thought of that before they started hurling racial slurs and threats,” she said.

Courtenay Mayor Greg Phelps said the rally was a “very positive experience,” that gave citizens a chance to have their say.

Latest From ...