MUN students organize vigil for victims of Christchurch mosque attacks

A group of social work students are standing in solidarity with people on the other side of the world who were affected by last week's Christchurch mosque attacks by organizing a vigil Saturday at Memorial University.

Megan Kearley says while she is taking a course in social justice at MUN's School of Social Work, helping to plan the vigil is not just course work for her and her classmates.

"We all heard about the terrorist attack in New Zealand, and we were all moved by it," Kearley said.

"We felt really strongly that something should be done to show that [communities] everywhere stand with the community, the Muslim community, and those who were impacted."

On March 15, 40 people died after a gunman entered the Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch and shot at people with a semi-automatic rifle with high-capacity magazines, before traveling to a second mosque, where 10 more were killed.

Leah Barron said the vigil is meant to show support for the Muslim community, at home and abroad.

"It's something that's impacted a lot of people and it targeted one group specifically," said Barron.

"Nobody should feel unsafe in a place of worship or in a place they go to feel safe."

Francesca Swann/CBC

Courtney Barnett said speakers from several community groups will address the crowd and share stories. Donations will also be collected for the Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The vigil will be held Saturday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Great Hall in Queen's College, on the St. John's campus of Memorial University.

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