Walk Against Violence community protest Friday night in downtown Oshawa

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Published October 13, 2022 at 3:00 pm

Take Back the Night rally, Eugene, Oregon

A grassroots organization who want to take back the streets of downtown Oshawa from the criminal element is organizing a walk through the city’s core Friday night and are hoping for a good turnout from the community.

Fitz Matheson, who lives and works in the downtown area, is organizing the Walk Against Violence, which will start at 7 p.m. at Bagot and Centre streets, proceed east to Simcoe Street, north to King Street and finally east to Albert Street.

Matheson, who said she is hoping at least 30 people show up for the walk, said she has “had enough” of the violence and criminal activity that has plagued downtown Oshawa for many years.

“We have to right to walk at night in our city,” she said.

Matheson, who has volunteered with local anti-poverty organizations in recent years, stressed the campaign is not an indictment against homelessness. “I don’t have an issue with people who are struggling and trying to get better. I have a problem with people who are turning Oshawa into a god-awful place.”

The local campaign is similar to the Take Back the Night events that have been held in Oshawa – organized by the Durham Rape Crisis Centre – and other cities in the past.

Matheson said she is aware there is often little the police can do – “it seems their hands are tied” – and that the issue is multi-layered and requires long-term solutions. “But we have to start somewhere.”

She distributed about 300 flyers today and said the response from the business community has been “tremendous.”

The flyer’s message to the community:

Spare 30 minutes to say no more violence in Oshawa

Our streets should feel safe

No more fear! No more threats!

No more criminal behaviour! No more violence!

We live and work here. Safety should be a given

If we don’t stand against criminals we will lose our city

Make Oshawa better

Everyone should feel safe

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