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Danielle Paradis explores what makes Edmonton a great city.

Edmonton's own Women's March a righteous reaction of anger

While I agree that inclusivity is nice, there needs to be consideration that the responses of anger seen from many groups in the wake of a divisive election is a righteous reaction of anger.

Thousands marched on the Alberta legislature Saturday, in solidarity with the Women's March in Washington.

Danielle Paradis/For Metro

Thousands marched on the Alberta legislature Saturday, in solidarity with the Women's March in Washington.

Rachel Manichoose held aloft a sign at the Alberta legislature on Saturday that said “Justice for Cindy.”

Manichoose’s sign referenced Cindy Gladue, an indigenous woman who bled to death in an Edmonton bathtub and Bradley Barton, the non-indigenous man who was with Gladue the night she died, who was later acquitted of first-degree murder.

She carried the sign at Edmonton’s contribution to the global Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, which saw thousands descend on the legislature in Edmonton as well as march in cities across Canada. All came with their individual reasons for resisting political events in the United States. And whatever their reasons for attending, many said they were inspired to come out on a chilly day to get together about issues that concerned them.

I went, too. My hope is that if 2016 taught us anything, it’s that equality is won by paying attention and showing up.

Which is what Manichoose was doing. “I’m here to stand up for all women especially the ones who are no longer with us,” she said.

Organizers said the event was not an anti-Trump rally (a stance I found disingenuous, as the buzz that created the rally came from now-President Trump bragging about grabbing women "by the p--sy"). “I think people are taking a stand for what they believe in and I think that’s great,” said organizer Paula Kirman.

Many of the about 2,000 who marched wore pink “pussy-cat” hats as a cheeky reminder of Trump’s comments, and there were a few Nasty Women signs in reference to Trump’s famous quip about Hillary Clinton. A few signs made mention of Nazis and one sign read “F--k Trump.” It was cold and foggy, and protestors stomped their feet along with the songs of the Raging Grannies, an activist musical group, in order to stay warm.

Ward one’s councilor Andrew Knack said he appreciated the inclusive position of the rally. “I feel that if we were just coming together for an hour to speak out against Trump, as individuals, that isn’t accomplishing the objective of trying to get us to work towards gender equality,” he said.

Knack said equal representation of women and men in elected office and in the city bureaucracy is critical. And he said the plight of indigenous people and their work towards equality one of the biggest areas that needed attention.

While I agree that inclusivity is nice, there needs to be consideration that the responses of anger seen from many groups in the wake of a divisive election is a righteous reaction of anger—an anger which is useful in making policy makers aware that they are fed up.

Nakita Valerios, who recently made international headlines handing out flowers to Hijab-wearing women after a man held a noose to women wearing Hijabs in the Edmonton LRT system, said the event was a way to talk back to that worldview.

“We celebrate who we are and we resist with our joy,” she said.

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