2016—2017 · Vol. 44 No. 5



Women march in Washington, Toronto and throughout the world

On January 21, close to a thousand women’s marches were held around the world. It was an overwhelming display of women standing up against tyranny, sexism and hatred.

In Toronto alone, over 60,000 women marched from Queen’s Park to Toronto City Hall. One of the participants, OSSTF/FEESO member, Nanci Henderson, District 24, Waterloo said, “Participants included savvy, organized activists, as well as grassroots individuals. There were activists from labour, environmental, cultural and religious groups. There were some flags and banners, but many more homemade signs. Yes, there were some harsh signs that mirrored the offensive rhetoric of the new US President, but there were also many signs with softer messages. It was not a homogenous group but everyone was marching for the same things—decency, inclusion and yes, a certain standard of human values. It was an incredibly moving experience, and I could barely chant because I had a lump in my throat and I was moved to tears throughout the march.”

Reports from the march in Washington were similar. It was loud and enthusiastic, but peaceful. Patty Coates, Secretary-Treasurer of the Ontario Federation of Labour and one of several OSSTF/FEESO members who made the trip to Washington, said that she was overwhelmed by the kindness of American women who offered Canadian participants water and pussy hats, and expressed admiration and gratitude for the support. Over 500,000 women marched to the Capital, protesting the policies and rhetoric of Donald Trump.

In Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia, 15 women marched along the main road of their small town with signs that said: “Here’s to strong women.” Although one of the smallest marches that took place that day, it was arguably one of the
most powerful.

As exhilarating as the January Women’s Marches were, it’s sad and infuriating that women still have to march for rights and respect in 2017. But it’s clear that the struggle is far from over, and that it cannot stop with these marches. Women’s March Global (www.womensmarch.com/global) will be providing ideas for maintaining momentum, suggesting 10 global actions over the next 100 days.

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