Second annual NOH8 march and rally in Edmonton makes waves
Gay makeup artist and University of Alberta (U of A) student Chevi Rabbit endured homophobic slurs while he was put in a headlock and robbed of his iPhone last July. Rabbit was walking to Safeway for snacks and believes he was the target of a hate crime because he wears makeup and is openly gay. Shortly after his attack, Rabbit turned this traumatic experience into an annual NOH8 march and rally to send the message that Edmonton won’t tolerate hate crimes.
“The whole message of the march and rally is just basically to show that you can’t attack other people for being different,” said Rabbit.
Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. will mark the second annual NOH8 march and rally. Last year, almost 300 people and representatives from the New Democratic Party, Conservative, and Liberal parties showed their support for equality and safety in Edmonton.
“If the whole community supports and the politicians support, it shows that it’s a unified stance on hate crimes and bullying,” said Rabbit.
This year the march will begin at the scene of the attack, at the intersection of 110 Street and 84 Avenue, and continue through the U of A campus to the legislative building where there will be speakers. Rabbit encourages people to hold hands during the march and to wear purple.
What’s on offer
Speakers at this year’s event include the following:
- Edmonton city councillor Amarjeet Sohi
- Edmonton city councillor and mayoral candidate Kerry Diotte
- Edmonton city councillor and mayoral candidate Don Iveson
- Human rights activist and former police commissioner Murray Billett
- Breakfast Television Edmonton reporter and Edmonton Examiner columnist Ziyah Karmali
- LGBTQ advocate, makeup artist, and University of Alberta student Chevi Rabit
- Former white supremacist and University of Northern British Columbia Daniel Gallant
- President and CEO of ICEIS Safety Massey Whiteknife
- MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark Dr. Raj Sherman
- Musician Conway Kootenay