Hundreds met on the steps and lawn of the B.C. legislature Saturday to stand up and fight for equality as part of the global Women’s March movement.
Organizers of Victoria’s rally said the theme for 2019 is “End Violence Against Women,” citing statistics that one in three women and girls experience violence in their lifetime.
“The issue of violence against women remains a very serious threat,” said Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, who attended the event. “We have still not addressed the situation of murdered and missing Indigenous women, women who are living in poverty, a lot of intersectional issues for women across Canada. What we are doing here is marching in solidarity.”
Racelle Kooy led the group in singing the Women’s Warrior Song, a song that came to Martina Pierre from the Lil’ wat Nation during a sweat lodge ceremony.
“It is an honour song. My ancestors are just happy for you to sing it because it connects us all. It makes us family. So as family marching together for love, let’s sing this song,” said Kooy.
The group gathered at the B.C. legislature before marching to Centennial Square where organizers and Indigenous leaders from the community had information tables set up, including the Moose Hide Campaign, a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys standing up against violence towards women and children.
“To really achieve equality, it means equality of security,” said May.
Protests and rallies really help, said May, but they aren’t enough by themselves.
“Movements at the local level, provincial level, federal level, electing people who care about the same issues you care about – all those things together make change,” May said.
People marched around the globe for the 3rd annual Women’s March, marking the anniversary of the first protest spurred by the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017.
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