Update: Taking Further Action in Memory of Cindy Gladue

Updated daily.

Hi everyone, I’ve had so much feedback this week on my last post with regard to the verdict in the case of Cindy Gladue’s death, and the love and commitment you are all showing is amazing. It makes me so hopeful. You are a force! I wanted to post a few updates, for those of you that are looking to continue your fight against this verdict, and your support for Cindy Gladue and her family.

April 2nd is a Day of Action. Peaceful demonstrations will be in nineteen cities, in every time zone across the country. Please consider attending the rallies in these cities:

BC:
Find information about the Victoria demonstration here.
Find information about the Vancouver demonstration here.

ALBERTA:
Find information about the Edmonton demonstration here. If you are able to help make signs or support in any other way, I know that organizers would love to hear from you! This page also lists some valuable information about other demos in solidarity, and provides templates to make letter-writing to Crown Prosecutor Godfrey and Justice Minister Denis much easier.
Find information about the Calgary demonstration here. Solidarity from Treaty 7/Blackfoot Confederacy.
Find information about the Lethbridge demonstration here. Solidarity from Treaty 7/ Blackfoot Territory.
Find information about the St. Paul demonstration here.
Find information about the Lac La Biche demonstration here.
NEW! Find information about the Red Deer demonstration here.
NEW! Find information about the Grande Prairie demonstration here.

SASKATCHEWAN:
Find information about the Saskatoon demonstration here. Location TBD.
Find information about the Regina demonstration here.

MANITOBA:
Find information about the Winnipeg demonstration here.

ONTARIO:
Find information about the Ottawa demonstration here. Taking place at the Human Rights Memorial.
Find information about the Toronto demonstration information here.
Find information about the Kenora demonstration here.
Find information about the Peterborough demonstration here.
NEW! Find information about the Sudbury demonstration here.
NEW! Find information about the Sarnia demonstration here.
NEW! Find information about the Sault Saint Marie demonstration here.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR:
Find information about the St. John’s demonstration here.

NUNAVUT:
NEW! Find information about the Iqaluit demonstration here.

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES:
NEW! Yellowknife demonstration: 11am – Meet on Frame Lake Ice right by the flags. March to follow.

YUKON TERRITORY:
NEW! Find information about the Whitehorse demonstration here.

Please remember that all demonstrations are peaceful events. No alcohol or drugs, please.

(Have I missed your event? Please let me know and I will add to this list!)

No one likes to feel alone when organizing these things, so please don’t hesitate to get involved in whatever way you can. Even just showing up and lighting a candle is really valuable. Your human presence is golden.

Many of you are writing to me, asking about a petition. There is a petition available at change.org. 

Years of activism have taught me that a letter is worth a thousand signatures. Really! Corporations look at every letter as representative of the opinion of one thousand consumers who felt too powerless to write. Signing the petition is a great start, but remember to show the Canadian government that Canadian women are not powerless. Our voices matter. Please write to the addresses listed in my last post and respectfully urge Crown Prosecutor Godfrey and Justice Minister Denis to initiate and support an appeal in the acquittal of Bradley Barton. NEW! Please also copy your letters to Alberta Premier Jim Prentice:

Office of the Premier
Room 307, Legislature Building
10800-97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5K 2B6
Email: premier@gov.ab.ca

Are you organizing a solidarity event in your own city? Please let me know, and I will post it here as well. Poster templates are available to share. Please get in touch if you’d like that information as well!

In case you missed it, a really excellent article in the Globe and Mail by Sarah Hunt and Naomi Sayers. And here, the Edmonton Journal reports some disturbing new information that has come to light.

Lastly, a big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to think about Cindy Gladue, write a letter, share a post, or organize a memorial rally. Take a look! Our call for an appeal is getting the national attention it deserves — here, in yesterday’s Globe and Mail. Keep on.

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Taking Action

***Please be aware that this post discusses a recent violent crime. Details may be upsetting. images

As a woman in this country, sometimes I think the real question is: When do we start rioting? Earlier this week Ontario resident Bradley Barton was acquitted in the murder of Cindy Gladue, an Aboriginal sex worker. Gladue died four years ago, in a hotel bathtub in Edmonton. Barton is the one who called it in. He told 911 operators that he’d found an unknown woman dead in his hotel bathroom, but CCTV later revealed that Barton and Gladue had spent time together over the previous two evenings. In court, Barton pleaded that her death was accidental, a result of rough sex. Gladue bled to death, caused by an eleven-centimetre stab wound along the right side of her vagina. Acting chief medical examiner Graeme Dowling testified that considerable force would have been needed to cause the wound.

No one consents to that level of violence. Gladue, in fact, was not in form to consciously consent to anything — toxicology reports showed her blood alcohol level was four times the legal driving limit. The almost all-male, all-white jury took only a day and a half to come to their decision.

I hear news like this and get despondent. Cindy Gladue also had a life. She also had a story.

When asked point blank about the possibility of launching a public inquiry into the crisis of missing and murdered aboriginal women, Prime Minister Harper recently said “it isn’t high on our radar, to be honest.” This crisis is high on my radar: that’s why I’m asking you to add your voice to the growing demand for an appeal to this verdict.

You can help. Now is a moment where we can stand together and take action. Please help us urge the Crown to initiate an appeal. Crown Prosecutor Carole Godfrey has only 26 days left to initiate an appeal for a retrial. My understanding is that the appeal will have to be approved by Solicitor General Jonathan Denis. Please write to them both.

To Crown Prosecutor Carole Godfrey:  Please respectfully request that she initiate an appeal to retry Bradley Barton for the original charges of second-degree murder. The grounds for appeal include the gross miscarriage of justice; bias on a jury with few or no women and no people of colour. Express your moral outrage that Bradley Barton is free to go, after he left Cindy Gladue to bleed to death in a hotel bathtub.

Crown Prosecutor Carole Godfrey
6th Floor, J.E. Brownlee Building
10365 – 97th Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7
Telephone: 780-422-1111
Fax: 780-422-9756
E-mail: edmontonprosecutions@gov.ab.ca

Write to Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis. Express your moral outrage, grave concern for public safety and the miscarriage of justice for Cindy Gladue. Tell him your letter is a vote of non-confidence from us, Gladue’s fellow citizens, in the verdict of not guilty for Bradley Barton, the man who caused her violent death.

Honourable Jonathan Denis QC MLA
Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
3rd floor, Bowker Building, 9833 – 109 Street.
Edmonton, Alberta, T5K 2E8,
ministryofjustice@gov.ab.ca
Phone: 780-427-2339
Fax: 780-422-6621

Twitter: @AlbertaJSG

Letters written on paper are more meaningful than emails. Write your letter and send it both ways, by post and by email. Media: Send your letters (or write new ones) to the editors of the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Sun, the Calgary Herald, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail. We can fight this verdict, and make our voices heard. No more missing women. No more missing girls.