Cindy Gladue was murdered four years ago in Edmonton, Alberta.
No, she was "accidentally" yet brutally violated by Bradley Barton. Just an accident, a mistake, that caused her to bleed to death. I am sorry for restating these details; they are upsetting. She was so violently penetrated with something--his hand? or a knife, as the Crown Prosecutor maintained?--that an 11 centimetre tear opened inside her. Bradley Barton didn't know he did this. Right. Without knowing he had hurt her, he fell asleep after she went to the bathroom. The next morning, he left his hotel room with a bag, returned without the bag, and decided he should call 911. Initially he maintained that he didn't even know Cindy; that she was a stranger. Then he admitted that they had had sex--because there was security camera footage of them together two nights in a row--then he maintained that it was all just a sad mistake and the mostly male, no-people-of-colour-no-Indigenous-people AGREED WITH HIM. Bradley Barton, like so many other men who hurt, torture and kill Indigenous women, is free. Cindy Gladue died a horrifically violent death and her family--she was both a mother and a daughter--will suffer this appalling injustice for the rest of their lives.
This gross miscarriage of justice has had almost no comment at all in the Canadian Press. Three days after the verdict, neither the Globe and Mail nor the National Post carried a single mention of it, and no print editorial was published about the racist overtones throughout the trial, during which Cindy's preserved, wounded vagina was used as evidence to show the severity of her trauma. So, here you go Canada, the vagina was on trial. An Indigenous sex-worker's vagina was on trial. Not the white man who violated it. The Indigenous body was judged guilty, obviously, sentenced to more abuse, more degradation, more injustice.
This verdict is an abomination. It sickens me. It proves, again, that our country is soaked in the blood and tears of Indigenous men, women, and children. Colonial genocide continues--in our courts, in our 'law' enforcement structures, in our streets, in our history, in the millions of dead buffalo, in the photographs of the starving People of the Plains, in the poisoned waters and air and land that we stole from The Peoples who have always lived here. We need to recognize that fact: this is a war. Another acquittal (as Robert Pickton's earlier attempted murder charges were also 'stayed' so he could continue killing women, most of them Indigenous) simply proves what is already clear. This is a war. I stand in solidarity with my Indigenous brothers and sisters. @CindyGladue @JusticeforCindyGladue. #MMIW
HERE IS A CHANCE, FRIENDS, FOR YOUR WORDS TO COUNT. Share this widely. I challenge people to care enough about this to WRITE IT DOWN and SEND IT IN THE MAIL if at all possible.
The Crown Prosecutor Carole Godfrey has only 26 days left to initiate an appeal for a retrial. If I've understood process correctly, the appeal will have to be approved by the Honourable Justice Minister and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis. Please write to them both. Jonathan Denis is also an MLA in Calgary. Call and ESPECIALLY WRITE ON PAPER AND SEND EXPRESS to the Crown Prosecutor Carole Godfrey to respectfully request that she initiate an appeal to retry Bradley Barton for the original charges of second-degree murder.
The grounds for appeal: the gross miscarriage of justice; bias on a jury with few women and no people of colour. Express your moral outrage that Bradley Barton is free while Cindy Gladue was left, by him, to bleed to death.
Crown Prosecutor Carole Godfrey
6th Floor, J.E. Brownlee Building 10365 – 97th Street Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7
Telephone: 780-422-1111 (her personal ph. is 780 427 6105 but the mailbox is full)
Fax: 780-422-9756 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and try: email@example.com
Call AND WRITE ON PAPER AND SEND EXPRESS to the Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis expressing your moral outrage, grave concern for public safety and the miscarriage of justice for Cindy Gladue, her family, and for us, her fellow citizens, in the verdict of not guilty for Bradley Barton, the man who clearly is responsible for her death.
Honourable Jonathan Denis QC MLA Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
3rd floor, Bowker Building,
9833 - 109 Street. Edmonton, Alberta
T5K 2E8, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 780-427-2339 Fax: 780-422-6621
the "Justice Minister" is on Twitter: @MinisterJono Tweet him every day as many times as you can. Let's get this gross miscarriage of justice in the news. Emails are something but this is small chance to make your written, printed word count. Letters written on paper are still more meaningful than emails. Email AND send letters. And talk about what this means. Write a letter to the editor of the Edmonton Journal, the Calgary Herald, The Globe and the Post. Enough. Enough. This is 2015. What country do we live in? The violence of colonization must end. Stop killing Indigenous girls and women and letting their murderers walk.