Press to restore a memorial to Aaron Webster, a gay man fatally beaten in Stanley Park – BC

Twenty years after Vancouver man Aaron Webster was beaten to death in an area of ​​Stanley Park known for gay cruising, supporters are raising money to restore a memorial bench that now stands in the area.

“It’s a touchstone, a place to hold a memory and a place to rebuild and return to the world renewed in a way, but also in memory and in reflection,” Vancouver West End MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert said of the memorial.

Supporters say they must raise $ 7,000 by the end of December for the park board to renovate the bench, plaque and covered area near Second Beach.

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Webster, a photographer and president of a Vancouver housing cooperative, was fatally swarmed by a group of men and beaten with baseball bats and swimming signs on November 17, 2001.

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He was found not long afterwards, and died in the arms of his friend Tim Chisholm.


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Webster’s death shook Vancouver’s LGBTQ2 community. The next day, hundreds of people marched through the streets of central Vancouver to where he died, and vigils were held across the country.

Police later arrested four people: Ryan Cran, Danny Rao and two others who were juveniles at the time and not named because of the Juvenile Crime Act.

The two youths pleaded guilty to murder and received three-year sentences. Cran was convicted of murder and sentenced to six years in prison, while Rao was acquitted.

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Chandra-Herbert said renovating the bench is an opportunity to reflect on the fight against hatred, and the discrimination is facing GLBTQ2 people to this day.

“The pain never goes away. Being here, just thinking about him, but also thinking about all those others since he was murdered who also faced this violence, is incredibly sad, but it also strengthens the soul to continue to stand for equality and for a better way of living and living. . against hatred, ”he said.

“I don’t think we can’t forget and I don’t think we should forget that Aaron Webster was murdered in this park for being gay, I believe. Because all too often it is said that this was in the past, all this has disappeared. Well, 20 years is not a long time. “

Anyone wishing to contribute to the restoration of the Aaron Webster Memorial can do so through an official donation portal from the City of Vancouver.

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