Winnipeg women and allies plan local march in solidarity with Washington Trump protesters

January 10, 2017 | Jessica Botelho-Urbanski (Metro Winnipeg)



Thank you to the Metro Winnipeg for their coverage in the lead up to the Women's March on Washington in Winnipeg. The article below was written by Jessica Botelho-Urbanski and published in the Metro Winnipeg on January 10, 2017. Read the original article here. Photograph by Jessica Botelho-Urbanski.

Women and allies in Winnipeg and around the world are planning to march in solidarity on Jan. 21, the day after Donald Trump takes office.

What started as thousands of people RSVPing to a single march in Washington, D.C. has turned into synchronized sister marches across the globe.

In Winnipeg, at least 20 grassroots groups — including unions, students, immigrants, refugees and members of the LGBTQ community — have signed on to march down Portage Avenue.

Alexa Potashnik, the founder of Black Space Winnipeg, will emcee the event. She notes everyone is marching for different reasons, not necessarily to protest Trump.

"We’re really coming together to take a stand against oppression and stand up for human rights and women’s rights," she said. "The (march) in Washington, from what I know, is really centred around anti-Trump. Ours is a little more reconciliation-based and making sure that people of colour and communities who are marginalized have a platform to be heard and recognized."

Amy Tuckett-McGimpsey, communications lead for the Women’s Health Clinic, has been helping plan the march, which will start with an elder’s blessing at Portage Place at 11 a.m., she said.

The list of speakers isn’t finalized yet, but will largely feature voices from communities that are often marginalized, she added.

Members of IRCOM (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba) will be marching and for many of them, it’s going to be "their first taste of activism in Canada," said Jen Glenwright, who teaches English with the group’s newcomer literacy initiative.

 Many at IRCOM, including Glenwright, were devastated by the U.S. election results in November.

"It was hard for me to get out of bed that day. I woke up feeling very disillusioned," Glenwright said. "I went in (to work) and my students, right away, noticed that I wasn't my normal cheery, happy self, and we just talked about it."

 Her students, who are mostly Muslim, expressed fears about what might happen to their relatives in the U.S. and were worried about what kind of ripple effects a Trump presidency could have internationally.

 Marching together will be an act of resilience and hope for Glenwright.

 "They’re just the strongest women you’re ever going to meet," she said of her students. "And I just think, if they’ve fought this hard to get here (to Winnipeg), then I hope collectively across the world, women can really stake a stand."

 Read more from Jessica Botelho-Urbanski here.

Niyi Adewole