Vancouver women prepare to march against Trump
Canadian women say it’s important to make their voices heard in solidarity with American marchers
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As some Canadian women prepare to travel to the closest American city or even all the way to Washington, D.C. in order to march against Donald Trump the day after his inauguration as President, local events are also being planned in many Canadian cities, including Vancouver.
Along with three other Vancouver-area women, Lisa Langevin, a 48-year-old electrician from Pitt Meadows, stepped up to help organize the Vancouver event after an earlier attempt foundered. Marchers will gather at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver on Jan. 21.
Langevin has worked for several years on increasing the number of women working in the trades, an industry that has seen female participation stagnate at just 3 per cent in B.C. That work has put her in touch with other women who work in the trades, many of whom are from the United States.
But what really galvanized Langevin to get more involved was seeing a video of Trump mocking a disabled reporter - the same incident actress Meryl Streep spoke about during her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes.
“It was no longer about politics,” she said. “I really have no problem with people having different opinions on politics, that’s fine. Mocking somebody who has a disability is not okay — and for the person who will be the highest in the land to model that is abysmal.”
Samantha Monckton, a 45-year-old communications consultant, was volunteering with the Washington march but switched her efforts to her home city when she saw a Vancouver march was being organized.
“Besides being a woman, it’s just a matter of human rights. We have to make sure our voices are heard.”
Both organizers stress that the Women’s March — organized in response to stunningly misogynistic comments Trump made throughout the campaign — is not just for women, but for all who want to send a message about the values they think are important.
Other Vancouver women plan to travel to Seattle. Andrea Thompson set up a private Facebook group to organize the trip, but is now thinking of making it public. So far, 21 women have signed up to make the journey, while other friends have chosen to attend the Vancouver march.
“There are a lot of scared and vulnerable people in the U.S., unsure of their personal safety and security, their reproductive freedom, and their legal status under a Trump presidency,” Thompson wrote in an email to Metro. “In solidarity from Canada, we want to help magnify their voices to be heard by their new government and ultimately remind the President-elect that he is accountable.”