DISGUSTING: Rehtaeh Parsons case: Posters ask community to “support the boys”

by: Obert Madondo  | Published April 19, 2013

Canada, we’ve a big problem!

These posters in support of the boys, who Rehtaeh's mother says sexually assaulted her daughter, began showing up in neighbourhoods around Halifax this week. (CBC)

These posters in support of the boys, who Rehtaeh’s mother says sexually assaulted her daughter, began showing up in neighbourhoods around Halifax this week. (CBC)

“Friends, family and supporters of the four boys allegedly involved in the Rehtaeh Parsons case have taken their voice to the streets of Halifax,” the CBC reports. They’re distributing bright, multi-coloured posters urging the community to “speak the truth” and “stay strong and support the boys” who gang-raped Rehtaeh and then circulated a photo of the attack at her school and via the social media.

Rehtaeh Parsons committed suicide last week.

The defenders of the boys now ask the Halifax community to “Speak the truth. There’s two sides to every story. Listen before you judge. The truth will come out. Stay strong and support the boys.” They took their message to the social media and created support group called “Speak the Truth”. The group has since been taken down, according to the CBC.

What is this? Freedom of expression?

The Parsons’ response through this Facebook memorial page:

Really??? They stop at nothing… First the family/friends of the perpetrators make pages about my daughter trying to paint her in the most negative light as possible. Now, they post flyers stapled to our street on poles stating “Speak The Truth”. This once again highlights who they are as people. This is our street , we are mourning our daughter, my children live in this neighbourhood. If you wanted to speak the truth…why didnt you speak when Rehtaeh was alive…you push her to suicide then you continue with this bullshit!!! Really???? You have no compassion….but we knew that already.

The truth is that there’s something terribly wrong with our society. Four males gang-raped a defenseless young woman here. Then they posted a photo of the savage act online for all the world to see. The police investigated but found no evidence to convict.

And now, through propaganda, the defenders of the boys are trying to stand in the way of justice for Rehtaeh. That’s unacceptable.

It’s time for Canada to look itself in the mirror and engage real soul-searching. This sexist war on Canadian women cannot be allowed to continue for another day.

In February, Human Rights Watch released a scathing report that partially examined the issue of violence against women in Canada. The report revealed “evidence of sexist and racist violence endured by Aboriginal women.” It claimed that the that Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) often neglects and sometimes participates in violence against women, in particular, against Aboriginal women and girls.

The RCMP only agreed to reopen the Rehtaeh Parsons case after pressure from Canadians. After hactivist collective Anonymous released a statement claiming to have a confession from one of the attackers. After the Parsons family shared its loss and pain with the world.

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Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter.com/Obiemad

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.