Tens of thousands gather for peaceful Melbourne march in honor of Jill Meagher - VIDEO
Rape and murder of Irish immigrant draws powerful public response
On Saturday, Jill Meagher's mother, Edith McKeon, arrived in Melbourne to visit the Sydney Road site where her 29-year-old daughter was last seen alive, while 30,000 people took to the streets to protest against violence and to remember the young woman who was raped and murdered more than a week ago.
According to TheAge.com, McKeon, accompanied by family members, stood outside the Duchess Boutique and read the messages attached to the hundreds of bouquets of flowers that lay outside the boutique, which has become somewhat of a shrine to Meagher.
"I would like to thank the huge support from Melbourne. It's just been unbelievable and just thank you," she told Channel Ten.
"Simply, thank you and I hope they put cameras in here. Keep people safe and just thank you everybody for all your support."
Earlier in the day, an estimated 30,000 people attended a peace march, which stretched over a kilometer from Moreland Road to Brunswich Street.
Many carried signs calling for an end to violence.
"No Violence. Remember Jill Meagher," read one placard.
"I won't close with fear. I'll open with love," said another.
"You should be able to go out at your own free will and feel safe doing it," said Marilyn Sant, from Yarraville, who took part in Saturday's peaceful march with her sister.
"We felt that we had to do something. So we're here today for Jill and her poor husband but also to urge the community to watch out for one another," she said.
Many cried openly for the woman whose young life was abruptly ended when she was brutally murdered while she was walking home on a Friday night.
"I think it's touched us all because we all feel that it could have been any one of us," said Virginia Edwards from Spotswood.
"I don't have a friend, including myself, who hasn't gone for a drink after work and walked off alone to catch a taxi or whatever. It could've been our sisters, our mothers, our friends and so we are all hurting for this beautiful girl and her family."
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