PHOTOS: Hundreds Of Maryville Residents Rally To Support Daisy Coleman

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"PHOTOS: Hundreds Of Maryville Residents Rally To Support Daisy Coleman"

#StandForJustice_01

CREDIT: Kevin Morgan

On Tuesday night, more than 200 Maryville residents gathered to demonstrate their public support for Daisy Coleman and Paige Parkhurst, two teenage girls who say they were sexually assaulted last year by members of the football team who weren’t ever convicted of the crime. This particular rape case has gotten national attention over the past week, after more details about the incident were published in the Kansas City Star and the two victims began talking to the media about their experiences.

Daisy Coleman says her family was driven out of the small Missouri town after she was sexually assaulted by a football player from a high-profile political family. She encountered harassment and victim-blaming, her mother lost her job, the whole family ended up moving away, and their former house mysteriously burned down.

Tuesday’s rally served as a public attempt to reverse that dynamic and extend compassion to the teenager. Attendees held daisies to signal their solidarity with the teen. Local residents also made a point to wear clothing from Maryville’s university and high school to indicate the community’s support for the Coleman family.

Courtney Cole, the women’s rights activist who organized the event, told ThinkProgress earlier this week that she hoped it would communicate a broad condemnation of rape culture and an expression of support for anyone who has been the victim of sexual violence.

“We are here today as a community of people dedicated to moving from victim-blaming to victim advocacy,” Cole told the crowd of supporters on Tuesday. “The movement to end violence is growing in Missouri, and we’re here today because we want to be a part of it. Let’s commit to this here and now. Let’s turn our anger and shock and outrage into the energy and dedication that is needed to stop things like this from happening.”

Cole worked with internet hacktivist group Anonymous, which has targeted Maryville officials over the past week to pressure them to re-open the case, to plan the event. Some members wearing the Guy Fawkes masks typically associated with the group showed up to Tuesday’s rally. Although some members of the town had expressed concerns that Anonymous would begin to target members of the community, or that this particular event would lead to riots, it was peaceful.

More photos of the event, courtesy of independent photographer Kevin Morgan and the St. Joseph News-Press:

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CREDIT: Kevin Morgan

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CREDIT: Kevin Morgan

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CREDIT: Sait Serkan Gurbuz / St. Joseph News-Press

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CREDIT: Kevin Morgan

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CREDIT: Sait Serkan Gurbuz / St. Joseph News-Press

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