Protests after acquittal

UPDATE: 12:45 p.m.

Vancouver saw dozens of demonstrators show up at 700 Hamilton Street Saturday afternoon to protest the acquittal of Gerald Stanley, the man who shot and killed Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Indigenous man, in 2016.

"Bring signs and voices to showcase our resistance and rage in peaceful protest to this current unjust decision of the Gerald Stanley trail," organizers wrote on the Facebook event page.

The demonstration is one of several organized across Canada after the jury delivered a not guilty verdict Friday night.

ORIGINAL: 12:20 p.m.

Protestors gathered across the country amid a chorus of outrage the day after a white farmer was acquitted in the shooting death of a young Indigenous man in Saskatchewan.

A jury in Battleford, Sask., found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder on Friday in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, a resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation.

Battleford was one of many communities that planned gatherings today to protest the ruling.

Other protests and vigils were planned in Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

The sound of people chanting a Cree honour song mixed with the noon bells of the Peace Tower on the Hill, and event organizer Lynne Courchene says that Stanley's acquittal symbolizes systemic racism in the justice system.

Courchene says she wasn't surprised by the decision, the makeup of the jury and the reported absence of anyone of Indigenous descent.

Eight-year-old Mariposa Horsley stood beside her mother and brother and held a sign that said, "Everybody matters."

"I have a best friend who is Inuit. Her mother is actually a throat singer," she said.

"I thought it would be nice to come because I don't think we should be against people just because of the colour of their skin. It's not fair."

Saskatchewan MP Georgina Jolibois said she was shocked by the court decision, which she described as disturbing.

"As Indigenous people, we give each other support when we're hurting. And that's why I'm here," said Jolibois, who is a former mayor of La Loche, Sask.

Jolibois said she and other Indigenous leaders would like to see an inquiry called.

The ruling prompted First Nations leaders and federal politicians to call for widespread change in the justice system.

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