News / Edmonton

Flower campaign counters racism in LRT system

After man threatens two women wearing hijabs in the LRT, women hand out flowers.

Janelle Venne hands out flowers to women wearing hijabs after an alleged hate crime last month.

Kevin Tuong/For Metro

Janelle Venne hands out flowers to women wearing hijabs after an alleged hate crime last month.

Janelle Venne is one of dozens of volunteers handing out flowers to Muslim women Wednesday at the University LRT station. 

The daylong effort, where volunteers are offering 1,000 carnations to hijabi women with the message, “This is for you," is in response to recent news of a man holding a noose and threatening Muslim women at the station.

More than a dozen volunteers have stepped up to help in the 12-hour effort. 

Volunteers raised money for the flowers through local donations and from donations outside the city. 

In just 24 hours, the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council raised $500.

The flowers are in response to a Nov. 8 incident at the station, when an elderly man threatened two young women wearing hijabs.

One of the women took video of the man pulling a rope from his pocket, tying a noose with it before issuing the threat, “This is for you!” 

The man then proceeded to sing O’Canada in front of the two women. 

Yesterday, police arrested a suspect in the case.  

Despite the arrest, Venne still feels it’s important to extend support to the Edmonton Islamic community by extending a flower.  

“We really want to drown out that racist message and send a message that that doesn’t represent all of us. It doesn’t represent our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And it doesn’t represent our values.”

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