The protest on Tuesday drew a small but passionate crowd. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Alberni parents protest for children’s rights

Recent child luring case was impetus for protest, says organizer

A group of concerned citizens held what they say was the “first of many” protests outside of the Port Alberni RCMP station on Tuesday, advocating for a change in the Canadian justice system.

The protest was held in response to an incident last week, where a video was livestreamed showing a 28-year-old man secured with restraints inside a Port Alberni home. The woman who recorded the video claimed that the man had come to her house to have sex with her 13-year-old daughter. RCMP have confirmed that the man is connected to a child luring investigation that was started in March, but also said that the mother’s actions could have compromised the original investigation.

READ: RCMP in Port Alberni are warning the public about vigilante justice

READ: Alberni RCMP ask for patience in child luring case

The RCMP have now launched an additional investigation into the circumstances that led to the alleged assault and forcible confinement of the suspect. At this time, no charges have been laid in either investigation, and no names have been released by the RCMP. Both investigations are still ongoing, RCMP Cpl. Amelia Hayden said Tuesday afternoon.

The gathering on Tuesday morning outside of the RCMP station was orchestrated by Amanda Mennie, who said it was a peaceful protest for a change in the Canadian justice system. It was organized at the last minute, but still drew about 15 people.

“We are protesting for the rights of parents to protect our children,” Mennie said on Tuesday. “We want change. And we want change now.”

Mennie, who is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at North Island College, has started a group on Facebook called “Protecting OUR Alberni Valley” for anyone who disagrees with the Canadian justice system and the lack of protection for victims of abuse. The group currently has about 150 members.

Some of the protesters disclosed that they were childhood survivors of sexual assault themselves. Mennie emphasized during the protest that childhood trauma is directly connected to addiction, mental illness and teen suicide.

She doesn’t know the family personally, but disagrees with the perception that their actions were “vigilantism.”

“She’s not a vigilante, she’s a good mother,” Mennie argued.

A separate GoFundMe account was set up for the mother to help with legal costs over the weekend and had raised more than $800 as of Monday night, but has since been removed.

Mennie said that this protest was the first of many, and is already planning a protest outside of the courthouse and Mid-Island Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser’s office. She said the system needs to change, but acknowledged that it will be a long and trying process. The most important part, she added, is speaking up.

“Childhood should not hurt,” she said on Tuesday. “No child should feel that they don’t have a voice.”

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

 

Amanda Mennie arranged the protest on Tuesday morning outside of the police station. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Just Posted

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni offers support after fatal bus crash

Two University of Victoria students killed after crash en route to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

Participants double at Parkinson’s Superwalk in Port Alberni

Second annual event also saw an increase in funds raised

Alberni School District considers three name changes

Neill Elementary, Ucluelet Secondary and school district identified for new names

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

VIDEO: We’re not ‘cold-blooded killers’ of bears, B.C. conservation officer says

When it’s a matter of public safety, the animals pay the ultimate price

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Most Read