‘How many times do I have to be out here?’: Portage and Main MMIWG2S march calls for Brady Road landfill shutdown

Family and friends of a woman whose body was found in the Brady Road landfill rallied at Portage and Main Friday to remember the mother of four and demand answers from Winnipeg police.

A march calling for MMIWG2S justice started around 5 p.m. at Winnipeg’s busiest intersection. Hundreds gathered there, some carrying signs with messages such as “No more stolen sisters,” and “Indigenous women are sacred, not garbage.”

A drum circle began as protestors expressed their frustration and anger, chanting “We are not trash!” and “Shut down the Brady,” referring to the city’s main landfill site. A hush fell over the crowd as a smudging ceremony took place at the centre of the intersection.

On Monday, the body of 33-year-old Linda Beardy was found at the Brady Road landfill. Winnipeg police said there is no evidence to suggest her death was a homicide. Investigators say Beardy was seen getting into a garbage bin near a retail business on Pembina Highway, but was not seen not coming out before it was hauled away by a garbage truck.

Police say an autopsy showed her injuries were consistent with being inside a garbage truck.

Beardy’s death has become a focal point in the issue of violence towards Indigenous women and girls.

Participants at Friday’s rally called for an independent investigation into the Brady Road landfill as they marched toward the Winnipeg Police Service downtown headquarters.

“How many times do I have to be out here?” said one speaker into a megaphone. “There are so many families out there, and today we honour Linda Beardy, we want to show our love for the family.”

Indigenous groups and supporters are calling for the complete shutdown of the landfill, where the remains of Rebecca Contois were found last June. Contois is one of four women suspected to have been murdered by alleged serial killer Jeremy Skibiki.

The city has said it has no plans to shut down the Brady Road landfill. However, the landfill will be closed to the public until further notice.

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