Alum looks to put stop to bullying

A harrowing incident on an Edmonton LRT train in December 2012 that left one man dead has sparked a grassroots movement to put an end to bullying.

University of Lethbridge alumnus Manwar Khan (BSc '07) witnessed the savage attack and tried desperately to stop the assault. But with bystanders intimidated and feeling powerless against the attacker, the beating continued.

"Since that day, I have been haunted by that incident," says Khan, a 37-year-old IT professional with Alberta Human Services. "Even when I go to bed, I think about this. When I'm in the LRT I think about it. What if I could go back to that day, what could I try differently? I can either sit here and hope that this will pass, or I can stand up and help other people by raising awareness among them to speak up against bullying. I want bullying to be stopped – period."

Khan is initiating a series of provincial rallies to raise awareness about bullying and the power that regular citizens have to stop it. Saturday's rally, to be held in Edmonton's Sir Winston Churchill Square from 3 to 4 p.m., is the first of three planned rallies to be held across the province. In May, Khan plans to rally in Calgary before bringing his message to Lethbridge in June.

"I want to encourage people to stand up against bullying, not just stand by," says Khan. "I thought of my own kids that day, what if something like this was happening to them, who is going to help them? People actually have the power together, they just don't know."

The rally will feature an opening address, the distribution of bullying fact sheets and opportunities for participants to share their experiences with bullying. Khan will also announce the date of the Calgary rally.

"We want Albertans to start talking about bullying to build a safer Alberta for everyone," says Khan.