Protesters marched on Commercial Drive Sunday afternoon to voice their outrage over the verdict in the Jian Ghomeshi trial.
A large crowd marched down the street and blocked traffic at the intersection of Commercial and Broadway as protesters held placards that read “Justice Reform Now!” and “The System is Broken.”
The event was organized after Ghomeshi, a former CBC radio star, was acquitted Thursday on all charges of sexual assault and choking following a trial that sparked an emotional nationwide debate on how the justice system treats abuse complainants.
Justice William Horkins said he was unable to rely on the testimony from the three Ghomeshi complainants, describing their memories of alleged abuse at the hands of Ghomeshi as “shifting” and suggesting their evidence at times strayed into full-fledged lies.
His verdict incensed some groups who predicted it would deter women from coming forward about sexual abuse.
“Every single woman I know has experienced some sort of sexual aggression before from a man,” said Hannah Rose Maté, one of the marchers. “It’s such a rampant problem in our society and we need to pay more attention to it.
“We need to change the system so that women are supported in court and get better results.”
– With files from Julia Foy and The Canadian Press