London: Thousands of people marched to support a Canadian Muslim family on Friday. They were killed by a man driving a small truck in an attack last Sunday, which the police called a hate crime.
The four victims spanned three generations. When they were walking near their home at night, 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman hit them and they were killed. The fifth family member, a 9-year-old boy, survived the disaster.
People in London, Ontario marched about 7 kilometers (4.4 miles) from the location where the family was shot down to the nearby mosque, which is close to where Witman was arrested by the police.
Some people held placards that read “Hate is homeless here” and “Love is better than hate.” Similar events are held in other cities in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.
“The best part was not just the numbers … but the diversity of the people coming from every single community in London, coming together for this cause,” said 19-year old college student Abdullah Al Jarad at the march.
The attack sparked outrage across Canada, with politicians from all sides condemning the crime, spurring growing calls to take action to curb hate crime and Islamophobia.
Veltman made a brief court appearance on Thursday and will return to court on Monday. He faces four charges of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the killings a “terrorist attack” and vowed to clamp down on far-right groups and online hate.