New Brunswick

Women's March 2.0 rallies to be held in Saint John, Fredericton

On the heels of the anti-harassment #MeToo movement, and almost a year after millions of people, mostly women, took to the streets to protest Donald Trump's inauguration, organizers in New Brunswick are planning events for the second Women's March.

Marches set for Jan 20., almost a year after massive global movement against Donald Trump inauguration

Two young girls lead a group of about 200 people down King Street in last year's Women's March in Saint John. (Submitted by Keri-Lynn Calp)

Coming on the heels of the widespread anti-harassment #MeToo movement, and almost a full year after millions of people worldwide, mostly women, took to the streets to protest Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, organizers in New Brunswick are planning events for the second Women's March.

Marches in Fredericton and Saint John are being planned for Jan. 20.

Keri-Lynn Calp, the organizer of the Saint John Women's March, anticipates a laid-back, empowering and fun event open to all people.

"I didn't want Saint John to be left out of this movement, because I believe in our city, I believe in the women in our city, so anyone who identifies as any gender, I believe in them and our potential as a city to change," Calp said Wednesday on Information Morning Saint John.

"That's the purpose of the march, to unify and continue to strengthen the network. … It's showing up, just being yourself and being there to support other people."

The Saint John Women's March in 2017 came together at the last minute, said organizer Keri-Lynn Calp, but the support shown was 'incredible.' (Submitted by Keri-Lynn Calp)

About 200 people turned out for the march in Saint John last year. It was assembled at the last minute, within about five days of the historic protest in Washington meant to send a message to the incoming Trump administration.

The event was a success despite the short notice, said Calp, because of a "great network of women already set up across the country."

"The support and input, and strength they offered to me, to help support Saint John was just phenomenal. 

"And when I was able to extend that ripple out to our community, then the support was really wonderful … to be empowered through joy and celebration of what a strong network can do. And what equality can do for people."

Global movement

On Jan. 21, 2017, tens of thousands of Canadians took to the streets from coast to coast, and in Washington, to defend women's equality and other issues important to the cause, including representation, economic security, safety and health.

Calp, who has fibromyalgia, said it has been difficult to live as a woman with a chronic illness.

She said she has been accused of faking her illness, of being emotional, and imagining her symptoms.

"So for me it was important to do this march, so we can help improve the health of our citizens," she said.

"Health care is the foundation of women's well-being and economic stability."

Over the last year, women's rights have remained front and centre in the international discourse and helped spark the #MeToo movement against sexual abuse and harassment in the wake of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's downfall over allegations of sexual misconduct.

The marches in New Brunswick will be among 29 like it nationwide, as well as in major U.S. cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington.

With files from Information Morning Saint John