The unwavering excuse used by U.S. president-elect Donald Trump and his supporters in the past year and a half is that the media has been lying and twisting facts as a means to drag his name through the mud. While the sheer volume of bad press and media commentary has been overwhelming, there are a few simple facts backed up by concrete evidence: Trump has time and time again made misogynist and racist comments and has spawned anti-immigrant rhetoric while flying in the face of basic human rights. The outcry of women and minorities has been piercing, and movements like this are too explosive to be constricted within a single country.
Today Trump is officially inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, an event that while unbelievable to many is still going to happen. The most recent U.S. election cycle has been a trying time for more than just Americans though, as the ripples of anger, inequality, misogyny and racism have made their way not only north of the border but also all over the world. In a time when human rights feel like they should be a given, certain actions and words throughout the election cycle have inspired a following that opposes diverse and inclusive communities of LGBTQ peoples, immigrants, people of colour and minorities in general.
While not billed as an anti-Trump event, the Women’s March on Washington would not have come to fruition without the events of Trump’s campaign. These issues go beyond the borders, and Canadian cities are standing in solidarity with the marchers in Washington on January 21st. A platform for the basic rights of women—something that could be very much threatened under Trump’s presidency—the event in Washington is set to draw around 200,000 people. Those involved will be calling out for gender and racial equality, abortion rights, healthcare and voting rights. For many countries—not just Canada—Trump’s campaign and resulting election were a catalyst. However with all the conflicting media and divided opinions swirling around the web and on-air, getting offline and hitting the streets in peaceful protest is a great way to stand out. The march is a means to stand against the normalization of the politics of misogyny and racism that Trump has perpetuated throughout his campaign.
An extension of the D.C. demonstration, the Women’s March in Vancouver will take place in partnership with the City of Vancouver on the traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. The peaceful protest will feature music and speakers, and anyone who wishes to support those marching in Washington.
The march is about rights rather than Democrat versus Republican. In light of recent political shakings here in Canada, it is evident that the seeds are there for similar events to occur as they have in the states. But the 21st is about keeping things non-political and rather pro-human. The week leading up to inauguration day has seen both women and men sprinkling social media platforms with the hashtag #WhyIMarch, explaining what it means to them and their families. The Action Network’s virtual march will allow protesters who cannot march to be involved through streaming methods, and all those standing in solidarity with the protesters in Washington are encouraged to share their reasons any way they can. Post-inauguration day will see many women donning Pussyhats, handmade pink toques with cat ears. These women are reclaiming the demeaning word infamously used by Trump as a symbol of empowerment.
The event will run between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., beginning and ending at 1085 Canada Place in the Jack Poole Plaza. Protesters will be marching past the Trump Tower on West Georgia.