When I was in the 9th grade, I held a knife to my jugular and gave serious thought to cutting it. I was 15 and had been the victim of relentless racial bullying for the better part of four years, and by the time I held that knife to my throat, I was desperate enough for it to end that my life meant nothing to me. The thought of my family and my grandfather in particular stopped me.
This isn't a story I regularly share for obvious reasons, and to be honest it's one I try to forget. Anytime I hear a story like Rehtaeh Parsons's, though, I can't help but think back to that day and wonder if the same things I thought went through her mind as well. The story of Rehtaeh is sadly typical these days; she went to a party, drank, was gang- raped by four boys, and then bullied so cruelly that she hung herself. The full story can be read in that link. My focus is on what happened after: How after a year of investigation, the police deduced that there wasn't enough evidence to charge any of the four assailants, and how Anonymous proved them wrong in two hours.
No, you didn't read that wrong. It only took two hours for the vigilante hacker group to show the world just how useless the RCMP (Who led the investigation) are. Rehtaeh's story stirred the so-called "Internet Hate Machine" into action, but it didn't take any kind of hacking to get down to the bones of the case and build the prosecution that the RCMP bungled in a show of failure and incompetence that would make the Three Stooges shake their heads in embarrassment. Once Anonymous made their rage and intent clear, they were flooded with witness testimony, and from there built the case of the RCMP’s incompetence on three points: that dozens of teens and adults had heard the rapists brag about taking part in the gang rape, that the photo taken of the rape was reportedly so widely circulated it's unlikely the authorities ever bothered to try and find it so they might look at the EXIF data, and that Parsons's school did nothing, despite the fact that child pornography was going viral in their hallways.
Look at those time frames. LOOK AT THEM. One year of resources poured into a case that shouldn't have taken a day to solve had the RCMP given a enough of a damn to ask the right questions and let people know they were looking to bring some serious wrath down on the four swineheads who perpetrated this crime. Anonymous sums it up best when they say that "Every officer that signed off on this 'no evidence' conclusion should be guarding the entrance to a petting zoo for the remainder of their careers." Anonymous received dozens of emails by both adults and children who knew the rapists, and the biggest and most offensive thread that stood out from those emails was the lack of fear these scum showed about admitting to their crime or spreading the evidence of it. They were stupid enough to believe no one was ever going to do anything about it, and before Anonymous caught wind of the story, they were right.
The Nova Scotia Government did nothing through this entire situation, and now they're catching hell for it. The province is currently controlled by the NDP (New Democratic Party), and despite the fact that Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter now believes that Ottawa needs to make changes to the criminal code, he and the NDP thought differently just last year before Rehtaeh Parsons hung herself. That situation, as well as this press release, shows just how badly the NDP government is scrambling to carry out damage control. It also demonstrates how they waited until Rehtaeh killed herself to revisit the issue.
Given some of their actions in the past, Anonymous might come off to some as a strange arbitrator in this case. Anonymous is sitting on the identities of the four rapists so that the investigation might be reopened, which is surprising in itself. In the old days of Anonymous, they would've simply released the identities of the rapists, and then sat back and watched the town turn on and devour them "for the lulz." Their refusal to do so until they see the case reopened is evidence of an evolution in the group, and it's an evolution that is drawing many new and former members of the organization into the fold.
Anonymous doesn't forgive and doesn't forget, and the ones who drove Rehtaeh to suicide deserve neither ... especially not those who sat back and allowed this tragedy to play out to its tragic end.