More than 100 people are expected to rally outside the Vancouver constituency office of Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould on Tuesday afternoon, to show their support for the ‘Justice for Colten’ movement.
Demonstrations in response to the acquittal of Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley in the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, have been taking place across the country since the verdict was read on Friday night.
On Saturday, more than 400 people turned up for a rally in Vancouver put together by community organizer and hip-hop artist Jerilynn Webster. Before that gathering had even wrapped up she was calling on people to show up on Tuesday at the Justice Minister’s constituency office — to keep up that visibility.
While support for the Boushie family has been widespread and highly visible through public rallies, there are also many who agree with the verdict decided upon by the jury.
For Webster, the Boushie family did not get justice in this case.
“The reason why we’re standing up is to say no more, enough is enough,” said Webster Tuesday morning.
Webster said it’s important to keep bringing people together to talk about the Gerald Stanley trial and to show support for the Boushie family.
“We are still a grieving community and we want the family to know that we stand behind them,” she said.
‘We want to put pressure on our justice system’
But the rallies are also about more than Colten Boushie. Speakers have been drawing attention to the history of Canada, about the justice system, about the disproportionate number of Indigenous women and girls who’ve gone missing or been killed in this country.
Webster said Tuesday’s rally is about continuing to put pressure on the justice system, and those in positions of power to take action.
Namely, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has hinted that change could be coming soon.
She met with the Boushie family in Ottawa on Tuesday. A source told CBC News that the family did not ask for any specifics, but there was lots of talk about jury selection reform.
“We are looking at peremptory challenges,” Wilson-Raybould said Monday in Ottawa.
“We are going to consider how we can utilize the expertise in this room and across the country, about how we can substantially improve the criminal justice system and the jury selection process.”
Webster said she also wants to offer support to Wilson-Raybould in taking meaningful action.
“This is the time for her to rise up, this is the time for her step in and use her voice as strongly as possible,” said Webster.
The rally is scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. PT.