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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Home again, home again.

I got back Friday night from a whirlwind eleven days of media, bookstores, readings, and speaking engagements. Ontario, you sure know how to show a girl a good time! Highlights include this chat with Marci Ien on Canada AM; reading and conversation at Words Worth Books and The Bookshelf, two of my favourite Ontario indie booksellers; Toronto reading series Pivot at the Press Club and Rowers Pub Reading Series; a house reading in Hamilton at LitLive; a conversation with the fabulous Gill Deacon at CBC Here and Now; and my first book club visit with The Devil You Know — with Port Dover’s Red Hot Bookies!

As any parent knows, you can go away any time you like…. but you can never leave. I got home and hit the ground running here, driving my teenaged daughter to social engagements and my son to babysitting gigs. I’m lucky to have a family that is so supportive — and who kept the house so clean!

I spent my last night away speaking to a packed house at a fundraiser for Project Bookmark Canada — one of my favourite literary organizations, Bookmark is run by my friend, the writer Miranda Hill. We had a long conversation about The Devil You Know and then the audience Q&A moved to wider issues about women’s safety, fear, and sexual violence. Toward the end of the evening, I was asked how I think we can best move forward — especially after last fall’s high profile revelations about celebrity sexual violence (I’m talking about Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby here) and campus sexual assault and harassment (at University of Virginia and Dalhousie University in Halifax, among others), as well as assault and coercion in the arts community (a great conversation was sparked by Emma Healey’s essay here in The Hairpin.) I’m not including all the links on purpose, because part of the issue is burnout. How do we take this information in, and move forward?

I don’t have all the answers. I’m a policy feminist, though — I think the answer lies in good legislation and specific policy changes. We need good laws that make it easier to help victims and easier to stop assault before it happens. Three days later, it’s International Women’s Day, and Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario Provincial Government has launched a fabulous new 3-year plan to curb sexual violence. The 35-page action plan is funded to the tune of 41-million dollars and places the focus on helping victims, raising awareness, and encouraging bystanders to intervene. It also comes with an advertising blitz — starting with this video, tagged #WhoWillYouHelp. Take a minute to give it a watch — because if you’re not helping her, you’re helping him.

Thanks, Kathleen Wynne! And Happy International Women’s Day, everyone.

Interested in booking me as a speaker for your group? Send me a note here.