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'Justice for Colten' rally draws protesters to Parliament Hill
« on: February 12, 2018, 01:00:10 AM »
'Justice for Colten' rally draws protesters to Parliament Hill

In the shadow of the Peace Tower, battling both her own sobs and the peals of Parliament’s carillon, Charlotte Overvold struggled to make her voice heard. “I am a survivor of an attempted murder. My birth mother is a survivor of an attempted murder. Neither of us had justice,” Overvold told a crowd of about […]

In the shadow of the Peace Tower, battling both her own sobs and the peals of Parliament’s carillon, Charlotte Overvold struggled to make her voice heard.


“I am a survivor of an attempted murder. My birth mother is a survivor of an attempted murder. Neither of us had justice,” Overvold told a crowd of about 200 people at a rally in support of Colten Boushie.


“And when I hear about this, it makes me so enraged.”


The hastily arranged noon-hour “Justice for Colten” rally was one of many across Canada in response to Friday’s not guilty verdict in the second-degree murder trial of Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley. An all-white jury acquitted Stanley, who fatally shot 22-year-old Boushie in the head in August 2016. Stanley’s lawyer argued that Stanley’s handgun went off accidentally when he confronted a group of Indigenous youth who had driven onto his farm after a day of swimming and drinking at a nearby beach.


Overvold was one of many speakers who came to show support for the Boushie family and share their outrage over the acquittal.


“They’re killing kids, and raping women, and leaving us like we’re trash,” Overvold said. “That isn’t right. That’s why it’s really important that we get together across Canada (so that) our future kids, can hopefully say: ‘That’s how it used to be. It’s not like that no more.


“That’s the way we treated each other in the past. It isn’t the way we treat each other now’.”


Lorna Martin told the crowd how her husband, James, died 20 years ago in Thornhill, Ont., in what she said was a racially motivated killing. As in Boushie’s death, the accused also went free.


“It’s appropriate that the bells from this building are drowning out our words,” said Martin, who also struggled to be heard as the carillon as it played a version of Alanis Morissette’s You Learn.


“We’re used to that. That’s just how it goes,” Martin said.


Marissa Mills, who spoke and drummed at the rally, said she was in shock when she heard Stanley had been acquitted — shocked but not surprised.


“We can’t be surprised that it was a not guilty verdict because this is still the reality we’re facing with the justice system in Canada … There was no mistakes in (Stanley’s) actions,” Mills said.


A vigil and rally of support for Colten Boushie on Parliament Hill Saturday, Feb. 10. Blair Crawford, Postmedia


She said she was pleased to see the turnout on the Hill at such short notice and hoped that Canadians would hear the rally’s message.


“The message is to think about how this affects our communities. This is another layer of fear for our children that some of us have now,” Mills said.


“Think about that and change the racist views we see in all parts of the country.”


bcrawford@postmedia.com


Twitter.com/getBAC


Correction: Charlotte Overvold said it was her birth mother who was the victim of an attempted murder. An earlier version of this story had incorrect information.


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