January 28, 2015 - 1:20 PM
PENTICTON - A throng of supporters crying for justice for Roxanne Louie and aboriginal women congregated outside Penticton Courthouse on Jan. 28 as the two people implicated in her murder made a video appearance inside.
Grace Robotti and Pier Robotti made brief separate appearances on video as they were remanded to Monday, February 2.
The rally for justice was similar to one staged in front of the courthouse on Jan. 15, the first time the Robottis appeared in court. Family and friends have vowed they will see the trial through every step, and that commitment was evidenced by an even larger turnout Wednesday. Even though court proceedings lasted only a few minutes, the courtroom was packed with supporters, while drumming could be heard outside.
“We’re here to support the family of Roxanne Louie, and to seek justice,” said Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Women’s Representative Coola Louis. Louis acted as spokesperson for the group in the absence of Laurie Wilson, media relations for Roxanne Louie’s family.
Louis was asked if she believed people were hearing the message.
“I would hope that is what’s happening. I think we need to continue to reinforce that our women are members of our communities, they are mothers, they are daughters, they are sisters and we just need to continue to remind the public that is who we hold in our hearts.”
Louis said she thinks public awareness is growing over the plight of missing aboriginal women. She said part of the rally’s aim was to put an emphasis on the need for a national inquiry.
“It is racism within the system that pushes our people to the edge. We need acknowledgement from the Harper government, yet he continues to deny our demands for a national inquiry. We will continue to gather until we hold those of authority to a higher level.”
Louis noted the turnout for Wednesday’s rally, calling it “amazing.” She said she anticipated a continuation of the rallies as the case moves forward.
An art show will be held March 8 at the Osoyoos Indian Band Community Hall. Called “One billion rising,” it is being staged to raise awareness about the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women, as well as violence against women.
Coola Louis, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Women's Representative, said she expects to see regular rallies for justice as the Roxanne Louie case continues
(STEVE ARSTAD /InfoTel Multimedia)
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