“Girls just wanna have fun-damental rights!”, “My arms are tired from holding this sign since the 1970’s” and “Women’s rights aren’t up for grabs and neither are we” are just a few of the protest signs that were spotted this weekend in Toronto as women demonstrated in support of the Women’s March on Washington.
A day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, massive crowds of women, men and even children gathered in Canadian cities, in support of women’s rights and human rights. Many of the peaceful protesting citizens said that they wanted to send a message to politicians on both sides of the border that Trump-style misogynist politics are not welcome in Canada.
Outside of Queen’s Park in Toronto, Cleo Cororan, who is 87-years-old, held up a sign that read: “I did the 50’s and we are not going back!”
“Women are half the population and yet we are so often pushed to the back of the crowd. Now we’ve got to come in front,” said Cororan.
Protesters moved at a snail’s pace down major Toronto streets as they travelled from the legislature to city hall. The crowds were so intense that streetcars were forced to sit still at intersections, unable to pass through the mass of people. Toronto Police estimate that there were at least 6,000 marchers.
One of the organizers of the march in Toronto, Kavita Dogra, said “I realize that Trump is not our leader, everybody here realizes that Trump is not our leader but there are things he has said, there are communities he has attacked that exist here.”
“We’ve seen what happened there, we do not want it happening here. Trump-style politics is seeping into Canadian politics and we are here to say that we will not accept that. Divisive politics have no place in Canada!”
The group also marked a moment of silence at 1:00 p.m. “The idea is to take a minute and envision what gender equality looks like. There is no nation that has it. Perhaps we don’t know what it looks like. Let’s dream it into existence,” Dogra said.
In Ottawa, a colossal sea of pink attended a peaceful demonstration at the human rights monument. It is estimated that between 6,000 and 8,000 people attended the march.
It is estimated that at least 600, 000 protesters turned out for the march in the U.S. capital, Washington D.C. Roughly 700 Canadians, most of them women, also made the overnight journey on chartered buses from Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Windsor to join in.
Speakers criticized Trump’s views on abortion, climate change and immigration, all while stressing the importance of including people of diverse genders, races, background and abilities.
Something to always remember is that women did something incredible this weekend. Women, specifically.
-Loredana Del Bello, Assistant Campus News Editor