Friends and family members of murder victim Ele Anthonysz held a rally in Mission on Sunday.
The group was protesting the transfer of Walter Ramsay – the man who murdered Anthonysz – from Kent Institution (maximum security) to Mission Institution (medium security).
Anthonysz, 33, was murdered on April 17, 2015 after her Hatzic-area home was set ablaze in the middle of the night. Two children also sustained injuries in the blaze. Ramsay pleaded guilty to killing Anthonysz in April of 2016 and was handed a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 20 years.
Organizers of the rally – which took place in the parking lot Mission city hall – are hoping to have the transfer overturned and have Ramsay sent back to maximum security.
“It was exactly what we planned,” said organizer Lori Maginnis, “a peaceful protest rally to stress our point which is that Walter Ramsay does not belong in medium security prison in Mission. He doesn’t belong in medium security at all but especially not in Mission.”
Participants at the rally held protest posters, honked their horns, beat drums and shouted out ‘Justice for Ele’ and ‘Honk for Ele.’
“Some of us covered our cars in signs and we drove by both prisons several times, down First Avenue through town, through the City Hall (Liquor Store) parking lot and back to the rally site honking our horns, creating a real disturbance,” said Maginnis.
While she was apologetic to anyone they may have disturbed, Maginnis said they had to make a point.
“The prison guards knew we were there, the inmates at Ferndale who were strolling the site knew we were there. I am positive Walter Ramsay knew we were there. Hundreds of people drove by and showed their support by honking and waving.”
Maginnis called the move to transfer Ramsay insensitive and disrespectful adding it lacks common sense.
While the rally is over, the fight is continuing. A petition is being circulated to several businesses in Mission. Petitions have been dropped off at many downtown Mission stores including Old News Vinyl, Arnold’s Shoe Repair, Lloyd’s Cleaners, The Smoke Shop and Fields as well as other businesses in town including the City Hall Liquor Store and the Mission Golf and Country Club.
Maginnis is asking the public to sign the petitions, write to MP Jati Sidhu, or call his constituency office to protest the transfer.