Picture of Supporters. Picture by Mary Sabourin.
Declan Kenny– OTTAWA • ON | 23-11-2022
Saturday, November 19th 2022 a vigil was held at Ottawa City Hall for Hodan Hashi, a 23 year old Ottawa woman who died at a Saskatoon nightclub after being attacked by Paige Theriault-Fisher. The vigil provided a space for members of the Ottawa-Gatineau community to voice their outrage about what many believe to be lenient charges on Theriault-Fischer which were manslaughter and release on $5,000 bail.
As vigil organizer Khadija El Hilali put it, “Theriault-Fisher got home before Hodan did.”
The vigil featured many empowering speeches, especially from organizer El Hilali and Robin Browne, co-lead and founder of 613-819 Black Hub, an organization devoted to fighting systematic anti-Black racism.
As people started to gather in front of City Hall, many began to organize themselves and chants of “no justice no peace” and “we want justice, when do we want it, now!” were setting off. Numerous mourners held up signs reading “Justice for Hodan.”
The vigil began with an Islamic congregational prayer along with a rallying from a member of the gathering.
Immediately after El Hilali began her speech, Browne addressed the crowd and had a powerful closing statement, “it’s clear the current systems aren’t designed to keep our youth safe, so let’s continue working together to create systems that do,” Browne said, reinforcing many similar messages regarding systematic racism that have been heard, not only in Ottawa but across Canada and around the world. While the vigil was certainly an event to help remember Hodan Hashi it was just as much of a gathering to demand justice.
In an interview conducted by CHUO’s Mary Sabourin, El Hilali emphasized that, as a society unjust things should not be forgotten, “when tragic things happen people move and do something but then as soon as people get back to their lives and jobs, it dwindles down,” she says “we need to figure out how to keep that conversation going continuously and stay consistent.”
It reminded attendees that to this day we still live in an unjust society and to remind members of the community to remain vigilant every single day.
You can support the Hashi family by donating to their GoFundMe Page and by signing the petition to get the LIT nightclub shutdown.