After possible hate crime at LRT station, volunteers give flowers to women in hijabs
'I wanted it to be loud and clear ... that racists don't speak for everyone'
Janelle Venne wants to fight hatred with a flower.
Volunteers will be handing out roses from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
It's the same platform where a possible hate crime occurred last month.
Edmonton police say a man confronted two young women wearing hijabs, pulled a rope from his pocket, tied a noose and said, "This is for you."
He then proceeded to taunt the women by singing O Canada.
"I was disheartened to see that some of the hatred that has been stewing in the United States has made its way over to Canada," Venne said in an interview with CBC News.
"This is definitely not the Canadian morals and values that I grew up with."
Part of last month's confrontation on the LRT platform was caught on camera. After an image of the suspect was released to the public Monday, a man was brought into custody.
As the EPS Hate Crimes Unit continues to investigate, Venne says it's important the community pauses to reflect on what happened.
- Suspect in custody after women wearing hijabs threatened with noose
- Man uses noose, anthem to threaten women wearing hijabs at Edmonton LRT station
She hopes her simple gesture will send a powerful message about the ugly incident.
"I wanted it to be loud and clear to the entire diverse community of Edmonton that racists don't speak for everyone," Venne said.
"And their hateful stories can be drowned out by consistent efforts by way of acceptance.
"Fighting apathy and hatred of any kind, and being on the right side of history, is very important to me."
Since Venne posted her plans to Facebook Monday, community support has been overwhelming, she said.
She has raised more than $300 to buy roses and has recruited volunteers from a long list of community groups, including Feminist Edmonton, Black Lives Matter and the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Volunteers will be handing out flowers from 9 a.m until 9 p.m.
"As much as it's cliché to say were fighting hate with love, that's exactly what we're doing here," Venne said.