Women's March Calgary 2.0 hits back Saturday
'There are people that are misinformed and uninformed and choosing to be ignorant,' organizer says
They have big shoes to fill.
The Women's March that filled Calgary's municipal plaza last January drew more than 5,000 people the day after U.S. President Donald Trump took office.
People around the world were furious that a man known for saying he grabs women by their intimate parts had just assumed the most powerful position in the free world, with fewer votes than his female opponent, and they took to the streets to show their disgust.
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Organizers say the second march on Saturday is about that and a whole lot more.
"We have just lived through an incredible, ground-swelling, crazy, revolutionary year. It's been a year of huge changes and women's issues and gender issues have been at the forefront of that," Women's March Calgary organizer Ashley Bristowe told The Homestretch on Friday.
"But things have not necessarily changed on the pay equity front, around violence against women statistics. So there are lots of things we still need to build community around. We need to be the leaders that provide that opportunity to continue the conversation, particularly here in Calgary. Building a Calgary-made conversation around these topics is essential."
March participants were busy Thursday night creating posters and signs, which they will carry from Bankers Hall to Olympic Plaza along Stephen Avenue.
An Indigenous smudging ceremony launches the event at 11:30 a.m. and the march gets under way at noon.
Adora Nwofor, the event's grand marshal, says it's just the beginning.
"We are going to start running tomorrow and we are going to see where that ends up," Nwofor said.
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"I think it's making a difference for people who have not been heard and people who have not been believed. People's harm and trauma is valid. And 45 has made it very obvious that there's a lot of issues that are going on. There are people that are misinformed and uninformed and choosing to be ignorant."
Bristowe says the energy is about protesting Donald Trump and the ugliness he represents.
"This march is about human rights, so everyone is welcome," she explained.
"Men, women, non-binary people. We are interested in seeing all kinds of Calgarians out. We are attempting, as best we can, to make it the most inclusive and instructive and fun atmosphere that we can."
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And it's about understanding other perspectives and experiences, Nwofor adds.
"I don't know what it means to be a white person, a white man, a short person," the tall black woman said.
"So let's have those conversations and figure out how we can see each other's point of view because we all know what it means to be human."
Nwofor says it's about finding common ground.
"This is not only about politics or social justice," she said.
"This is about being connected to your community, because that is what makes a better world for us."
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With files from The Homestretch