Pink march demands accountability, remembers Josie Glenn

Friends and family organized a March for Josie, with the help of SafeSpace London. Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL

“We will never forget you Josie Glenn,” a woman yelled into a megaphone, outside of London Police Service headquarters.

A crowd of around 75 people responded, echoing back the name of the 26-year-old woman being remembered during Monday night’s march to SafeSpace London’s facility on Rectory Street.

The atmosphere was sombre, and the air was cold. But in stark contrast, everything was bright pink: from the hats and scarves that offered warmth, to the posters lifted high, and the helium balloons released into the sky.

It appeared to be an ode to Glenn’s personality, which has been described as bubbly and outgoing.

Family members and friends embrace outside of SafeSpace London, before releasing balloons into the sky. Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL
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Friends and family of London’s fourth homicide victim reached out to SafeSpace London to help organize the event, which left the police station shortly after 4:30 p.m. and made its way east along Dundas Street before turning south on Rectory Street.

All the way along, they chanted.

“London police need to be held accountable,” they called out. “You’ve failed our community!”

Rebecca Hodder travelled 45 minutes into London to take part in the event, compelled by the story of a woman she never met.

“I felt like this could have been anybody, and it’s important that we identify who she was and that we respect that, and [that] we make changes so this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”
Hodder also believes it’s important for “people [to] realize the systems which have potentially lead to this.”
Fanshawe College School of Nursing professor Jodi Hall hands out balloons to march participants, outside of police headquarters. Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL
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Accountability and answers: that’s what Glenn’s family members now hope for, said SafeSpace London co-ordinator and co-founder, Julie Baumann.

“Their lives are never going to be the same, she’s never coming back,” she said. “I do believe a lot of mistakes were made, and things could be different.”

Baumann says there needs to be accountability on the part of predators, and from the police force. But there also needs to be a shift in policy, so that women’s safety is prioritized.

“We live in patriarchy, we’ve been battling misogyny one little bit at a time. We’ve come a long way.. but there’s always things to knock away. People need to know that women have agency over ourselves, we have the ability to make choices, we know what is needed for our safety and people need to start listening to that.”

Glenn’s remains were discovered at a southeast London address a month ago, days after she’d been reported missing.

At the scene, police arrested Oluwatobi Boyede, 25. He’s charged with second-degree murder and offering an indignity to a human body.

Court records show Boyede also faces charges of assault, sexual assault, choking and forcible confinement, stemming from previous incidents.

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