St. John’s Rally Part of Global Women’s March Movement

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The St. John’s rally in support of the Women’s March on Washington is happening on Saturday January 21st at 11:30am on the steps of St. John’s City Hall. If the weather is bad the rally will take in place inside City Hall, in the Foran Room.

The day after Trump’s inauguration, people from all over the United States will be gathering at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street to participate in the Women’s March on Washington.

The March’s mission statement explains the action is a response to the racist, anti-immigrant, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and sexist rhetoric that was used in the most recent election cycle in the U.S.

“The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.” The Mission Statement reads.

St. John’s is one of over two hundred and fifty cities hosting an event in solidarity with the marchers in Washington on the 21st. Organizers in Washington are estimating about 500,000 people will attend ‘Sister Marches’ all over the world.

In St. John’s, Caroline Clarke, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, and Lynn Moore have been meeting since November to organize a local rally in support of the march in D.C.

“The idea behind this event is to send a strong message to the people in power that equality matters, women’s rights matter and islamophobia and racism are going to be resisted,” says Moore.

The St. John’s event will begin with speeches by activists, after which singer Julia Halfyard will lead the crowd in a rendition of the feminist union anthem, “Bread and Roses.” Song sheets in large print and braille with the song’s lyrics will be passed out so that everyone can sing along.

The event will finish with a call to action that addresses the need to fight for the protection of marginalized people on both a national and local level.

“We’re going to be focusing on the fact that there’s a lot of people in the world who care about equality and want to see the entire human race lifted up,” says Moore.

Local organizers are working with InclusionNL to make the rally as accessible as possible. There will be seating available for persons with disabilities, pregnant, and elderly people. An ASL interpreter will be present and Bluetooth technology will be available for people who are hard of hearing.

People of all genders are invited to meet on the steps of City Hall and join peaceful protestors across the globe in raising their voices against the discrimination and hatred that Trump’s campaign is normalizing.

“In light of an election like this, it’s important to find positive actions you can take part in, and in Canada it’s important to focus on Canadian goals and remember we have some power and agency to make a difference here,” says de Mariaffi.

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Eva Crocker

Eva Crocker is a writer from St. John's, her short story collection, Barrelling Forward, was published by House of Anansi Press in Spring of 2017.

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