Candice Anderson and Olivia Chow were discussing how to brighten a paper lantern that would mark the tail end of Friday night’s march in support of local victims of sexual assault. “We want to make it brighter and easier to follow,” said Anderson, who was asked to participate in the walk—which traced a route through eight of the 12 most recent assault locations—by her friend, organizer Rebecca Mallinson.
Mallinson didn’t want to walk the route alone, which is why she invited Anderson along. Yet among the hundreds of people who confirmed on the Facebook page, and the 300 who made their way to Christie Pits, the camaraderie has continued to swell in response to the string of assaults. “This is our city and we have every right to walk around in it and be safe,” Mallinson explained.
After attaching a bike light, Chow and Anderson hoped the lantern’s cream colour would be enough to show the way. The marchers were slowly beginning to move past, so Chow went ahead to lead the rally. Anderson waited for the corner of Christie Pits Park to clear, and dutifully took her place next to some cyclists tailing the march.
When the it ended, Anderson was abuzz with excitement, “People came out of their homes to meet us,” she explained, before helping a grinning Mallinson pack up lanterns and protest signs. The pair left the marchin a group, among friends.