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Supporters of #MeToo movement protest outside Hedley concert

Dylan Menzie, left, Annie MacEachern, Laura Jess, Sharlene Kelly, and Kinley Dowley.
Dylan Menzie, left, Annie MacEachern, Laura Jess, Sharlene Kelly, and Kinley Dowling. - Desiree Anstey

The handful of protesters were met with backlash from some concert goers

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I.– While many walking into Credit Union Place were excited to see Hedley perform Saturday night, a handful of protesters made their presence known outside of the building.

The protestors were part of the #MeToo movement, a viral campaign which followed soon after public allegations were made against movie executive Harvey Weinstein.

The campaign aims, through social media, to help victims of abuse, assault and exploitation.

“We saw a girl post on Twitter that she used posters to help victims of sexual assault. I was inspired by her, so that’s why I’m here giving advice and resources to passersby,” said protestor Kinley Dowling, from Charlottetown.

RELATED: Hedley fans at Summerside concert stand by their band

In recent weeks the band has faced allegations of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct from anonymous Twitter users. The allegations have not been proven in a court of law and the band says they are unsubstantiated and have not been validated.

“For the people attending the concert, I tell them to think about what is happening and whether they can support the art. I understand that they probably bought the tickets ahead of time, but times are changing and the #MeToo movement is a real thing.

“In order for change, we need to make drastic choices and really think about what and who we are supporting. They say, ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ to that I would say believe the woman that speaks up. My story was about coming forward, and when I did it was the best thing.”

Dowling called out the man who she says sexually assaulted her 16 years ago.

“I made an album and one of my songs about being sexually assaulted at my prom. A couple of my best friends knew, but I didn’t tell anyone else in my world for 15 years and then I let the story out when I released my album. It was hard, but worth it.”

Despite the occasional clash by concert goers, the protesters continued to stand their ground until late into the night.

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