Protesters in Canada plan to march for an end to hate crime following the attack of a gay student at the University of Alberta.
Chevi Rabbit was attacked by a group of three men walking near his campus on 19 July and, after hurling homophobic abuse, the 26-year-old claimed one of the trio attacked him, holding him in a headlock before stealing his iPhone.
The march will begin at the scene of the attack in 110 Street and 84 Avenue tomorrow at 6pm, then move through the campus.
It will end at the Alberta Legislator Building where a rally will be held with speeches from Rabbit, Alberta deputy premier, Thomas Lukaszul and the director of community relations at University of Alberta, Michael
‘We encourage you to bring your family and friends to come out because we all want to live in a safe environment, we all want to have a safe community and it takes a whole community for change to happen,’ Rabbit said in a YouTube video.
The make-up artist also thanked everyone who has sent messages of support, saying they made him feel less alone.
‘I’m just really grateful because there’s a lot of good in the world,’ he added.
‘Although this is a negative experience, I’ve come to realize there’s a lot of good people out there.
Marchers are encouraged to wear purple to represent anti-bullying.
Organizers of the protest, NOH8 Taking Back Greater Edmonton, wrote on its Facebook page that the march is to show people that hate and inequality will not be tolerated in the city.
‘I was trying not to cry,’ Rabbit said of how he felt after the attack. ‘I couldn’t believe I was attacked verbally and assaulted. They robbed me…I didn’t feel safe at all. I was really in shock at what happened.
‘It’s not right. We should be allowed to be different and society should embrace our differences.
‘People shouldn’t be afraid to be different and afraid to walk to the local grocery store for some snacks and not worry about their safety.’
Edmonton Police are investigating the attack and are looking for a silver 2000 Acura 3.2TL car with a spoiler that fled the scene.