“We will never, ever forget you, Josie Glenn!” Amiel Houghton said through a megaphone.
“Josie Glenn!” the crowd of about 75 responded in unison.
With that, a brief march along Dundas Street through the Old East Village kicked off Monday afternoon as the daylight slowly slipped away.
The marchers, who gathered in the parking lot of police headquarters, had come to remember Glenn, the slain sex worker, and to put a human face to her story.
“She just had this gentle soul,” Houghton — who is the manager of residential services at Anova, the women’s shelter – had said before the march began. “(Her death) just feels senseless.”
Scores of people march along Dundas Street in London Monday in memory of Josie Glenn. Glenn was slain about a month ago, and her death has prompted criticism of police for not warning sex workers that the accused in her case was under a court order not to contact anyone about paid sexual services. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)
Some of the marchers dressed in hot pink, Glenn’s favourite colour and others held pink balloons aloft - writes lfpress.com.
They also carried handmade signs reading “Bringing rage and love,” “You are not powerless,” “Be Josie’s voice” and “My outrage can’t fit on this sign.” A lone placard, with white letters on black, read “L.P.D. shame on you.”
Police were called Oct. 27 to 252 South Leaksdale Circle, where they found Glenn’s remains and arrested Oluwatobi Boyede, 25, who is charged with second-degree murder and offering an indignity to a human body.
Police have been criticized for not releasing information to the public about Boyede’s earlier charges and for not warning agencies that work with women in the sex trade about a condition of his release that he not have any contact with anyone for paid sexual services.
As people arrived earlier Monday afternoon, organizers handed out white T-shirts with Glenn’s face on the front. Houghton addressed the crowd.
“Today we are going to remember a beautiful (person) because she can’t be here to march with us. She impacted my life immediately.”
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Houghton then paused to collect herself, fighting back tears. “We deserve to be safe in our community. We should not still have to march for basic rights,” she added.
“Josie was not a headline,” she said, urging the crowd to answer back by calling out Glenn’s name.
The march moved east along Dundas Street to Rectory Street and finally to Safe Space London, a support centre for Forest City sex workers.