Citizens concerned about crime in Surrey are gathering this weekend to rally for better public safety.
Newton community activist Naida Robinson is spearheading the rally, which will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. outside the Newton Seniors’ Centre.
The mother of five became involved in community safety after the killing of hockey mom Julie Paskall in Newton late last year.
The murder took place a block away from her home.
Several incidents have occurred in Newton since Paskall’s murder, including shootings, killings and home invasions.
“Each week is a reminder that bullets are random,” Robinson said.
But the latest criminal act sent her over the edge.
Seventeen-year-old Serena Vermeersch was killed near the train tracks in Newton last week in the 14600-block of 66 Avenue.
Raymond Caissie, 43, a convicted rapist who was deemed a high risk to re-offend when he was released from prison into Surrey last summer, has been charged with second-degree murder in Vermeersch’s death.
“I feel like we crossed a line with the killing of Julie (Paskall) and now Serena Vermeersch,” Robinson said. “Two women murdered in nine months.”
She said that politicians are welcome to attend the rally, but they won’t be allowed a platform to speak.
All members of the public are welcome to attend, and are invited to bring signs expressing concerns about crime, the justice system, flop houses, or whatever else comes to mind regarding public safety.
The Take Back Surrey Rally 4 Change is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at 13775 70 Ave., across from the Newton Library.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/TakeBackSurrey?hc_location=timeline
Anyone looking to lobby the federal government on justice issues can email federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay at email@example.com