A press release sent out Monday morning states that transgender speaker and political critic Jenn Smith plans to press criminal charges against Greater Victoria School Trustee, Ryan Painter.
In the release Smith states comments made by Painter at the SOGI 123 protests on May 2 at Windsor Pavilion in Oak Bay were “false and defamatory” putting “everybody in attendance in danger.”
Oak Bay Police didn’t confirm any charges to Black Press and said it is not able to “comment on the status of police investigations including if there is or is not an investigation.”
Smith hosted an event called The Erosion of Freedom on Thursday evening to protest SOGI 123 (sexual orientation and gender identity) resources taught in B.C. schools. Victoria was the event’s final Vancouver Island stop after hosting in Campbell River, Duncan and Nanaimo.
“What was coming here to Victoria was something that was not safe, and it was creating a lot of fear,” Painter said on the night of the rally. “And I wanted to create a space of love, a space of inclusion and a space of hope, which is what we’ve done here tonight.”
Hundreds of LGBTQ allies and supporters showed their support, chanting loudly to drown out the speakers inside. Attendees and organizers railed back at protesters, claiming their right to freedom of speech was under attack.
The night ended with Oak Bay Police shutting down the event as arguments escalated to a point of pushing and shoving.
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