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Protesters are planning to block the Canso Causeway on Wednesday.
They’ll be doing so in memory of Cassidy Bernard and all missing and murdered aboriginal women.
“Wednesday will be a peaceful protest to create awareness of all the missing and murdered, men, women, boys (and) girls,” said organizer Annie Bernard-Daisley on Monday.
“To create awareness that we will stand in solidarity together to create a movement. That’s what this is — it’s a movement that needs to sweep across the country.”
With police escort, the Red Dress Protest will block traffic on the causeway for about 45 minutes starting at noon on Wednesday.
On Monday, red dresses meant to symbolize murdered and missing aboriginal women could be seen hanging in home windows and from trees along Highway 105.
Nowhere more so, however, than in We’koqma’q, the home community of Cassidy Bernard.
Shortly after 11 a.m. on Oct. 24, the 22-year-old was found dead in her home on the Cape Breton first nation with her two healthy infant twins.
Other than to say they “don’t believe it was a random act,” the RCMP have been tightlipped.
Nearly a month later, the community still doesn’t have official confirmation of whether Bernard was murdered and if so, if there are any suspects.
The children are being taken care of by family.
“The babies have been looking around for her and it’s so hard knowing that these babies will have to go through life without their mom,” a family member of Bernard who didn’t want her name used recently told The Chronicle Herald.
The family and the rest of the community of a few hundred souls want answers.
On Monday, Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said RCMP continue to wait for the medical examiner’s report on Bernard before making any public statements. She expected that report would take six weeks from when Bernard’s remains were transferred to the examiner’s care.
“While we can’t speak to specific investigations or examinations, generally speaking cases can range from several weeks to months due to the comprehensive nature of the work and the various tests and analysis that are involved and often completed by third parties,” reads a statement released by the medical examiner’s office to The Chronicle Herald on Monday.
Meanwhile We’koqma’q waits.
Tormented by tragedy
“All we want is answers,” said Steven Googoo, a band councillor.
“From there, we will decide what direction we go after that.”
Googoo leads the Youth Eagle Program.
Each week the community’s youth gather at a local hall and talk about issues they face and plan things they can organize for We’koqma’q. Last month they painted a giant rainbow pride banner for the school.
Noticing some of Bernard’s family hadn’t shown up since her death, he reached out to the group’s older members.
“We wanted to do something for her family,” said Googoo.
So they painted a big billboard now hung in the community that reads “Justice for Cassidy.”
And while they painted it, Googoo thought of how the young shouldn’t be tormented by such tragedy.
“I try to shield them from it,” said Googoo of the two dozen young people who show up weekly at Youth Eagle.
“But they’re well aware of what’s happening.”