Hundreds of people came to Queen’s Park at noon for the scheduled Women’s March on January 21st, in protest against the recently elected American President. The March moved its way to City Hall at one o’clock, where guest speakers addressed the crowd.
Ogho Ikhalo from Unifor, a company sponsoring the March, said “it’s an empowering event to help us gather near and far for justice. We gather today in unity. It’s an amazing event and an honour to be here.”
Jean Walker, also from Unifor, said this march is not just about women.
“This is for sons and dads to fight for us, so we don’t have men that abuse women anymore. So that when we take one step forward, they will not take us two steps back.”
Marie Clarke-Walker, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress emphasized the significance of the March for her.
“We are here today so women can stand in solidarity, so women around the world can be given economic equality, and we are here to stand up for what’s right. We say no to racism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia, the alt-right. Together we are stronger than their hatred.”
Beverley Johnson echoes her sentiments and said “women of my generation have fought against these inequalities. And now I see the gains we made are taken away, it’s happening right here too. No more, we have to stand up.”
Howard States, a retired school teacher from Regent Park said “I am here today because I stand up for justice, peace, women’s rights, and fundamental rights.”
Toronto Police were present to monitor the event. Several marchers carried banners and homemade posters to share messages of female empowerment, and were heard chanting in unison as they moved from Queen’s Park to City Hall.
Several speakers addressed the crowd including Indigenous Senior Catherine Brooks, Toronto District School Board Trustee Ausma Malik and Ryerson University’s Consent Comes First, Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education Manager Farrah Khan. They cited several organizations that helped inspire their action.
Khan said “Our Canadian values are about human rights and justice for all.”