‘Hate to Hope’: Hundreds march in support of Chevi Rabbit, student targeted in homophobic attack

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Good News

On July 19th, 26-year-old Chevi Rabbit, a gay University of Alberta student, was attacked on his way to Safeway in Edmonton's Garneau neighbourhood.

He was walking down the street when three men started yelling homophobic slurs at him. One man then jumped out of the vehicle, put Rabbit in a headlock, threw him to the ground and stole his iPhone.

Members of a nearby fraternity saw the attack and came to Rabbit's aid. The police are investigating the attack as a hate crime, the Edmonton Journal reports.

Yesterday, more than 200 people marched in support of Rabbit, CBC News reports. The "Hate to Hope" march started at the site of the attack and led to the Alberta legislature where Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk and former city councillor Michael Phair, the city's first openly gay councillor, offered speeches at a rally.

"This really is the power of one person," Lukaszuk said at the rally. "I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to show how this city and how this province will not accept violence, how we will not accept intolerance."

"I wanted to start the march here because basically it's like reclaiming this area…for myself, to feel comfortable again," Rabbit said.

See footage from the march — and an interview with Rabbit — at the Edmonton Journal.

Rabbit planned to leave Edmonton following the attack but has since changed his mind.

"It's changed because of the response from Edmontonians and I feel very safe here," he told CBC News. "I feel for the most part, it's very positive, this experience, and I'm not going to move."