Nova Scotia

'Women are strong': Halifax part of worldwide women's marches in response to Trump

Organizers are hoping hundreds of people in Halifax will rally this weekend in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington.

Saturday afternoon event modelled after the Women's March on Washington

Jackie Barkhouse (left) and Dawn Ferris, co-organizers of the women's march in Halifax, are hoping for hundreds of marchers Saturday. (Allison Devereaux/CBC)

Organizers are hoping hundreds of people in Halifax will rally this weekend in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington. 

The event at Halifax City Hall was initially in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's election and has broadened to include women's rights and gender equality. 

"I can't afford to go to Washington, but I can go to Halifax," said Donna MacGregor, who is making a four-hour round trip from New Glasgow to Halifax to attend. "Firstly, I hope it sends a message to all women that we can stand together, regardless of our differences. 

"Secondly, the purpose of it is to send a message to President Trump that women are strong, that women can stand up for themselves and that we matter." 

Events across the country

Similar events are planned across the country and around the world, modelled after the Women's March on Washington on Saturday. The march in the U.S. capital is expected to draw more than 200,000 people to the National Museum of the American Indian.  

Ryann Pinkerton, left, and Belle DeMont prepare their signs for the march on Saturday. (Allison Devereaux/CBC)

The Halifax rally is from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Speakers include former Halifax poet laureate El Jones, Mi'kmaq elder Marlene Companion and Dalhousie Muslim Student Association president Masuma Khan. 

"It's really powerful to see so many women standing up for my friends and family back home," said Ryann Pinkerton, who moved to Halifax from Lafayette, La.

On Friday afternoon, the 26-year-old was putting the finishing touches on a painted protest sign reading "Proud Feminist."

'He's self-serving'

She said her concerns span from health-care access to pay equality to laws that protect minorities. 

Trump will be 24 hours into his presidency when the march takes place, but co-organizer Dawn Ferris doubts the message will resonate with him.

"I doubt that you could change his mind because he's not politically motivated, he's self-serving," she said.

Ferris instead said she hopes Republicans elected by their constituents will take note. 

'Nasty Woman'

"The other elected officials are more likely to be impacted by constant pressure. They will care because they are career politicians," she said. 

After following U.S. politics closely for the last two years, Ferris says she stands in solidarity with women in America but also has worries closer to home.

We want to remind all the little girls out there that even though someone who says those terrible things could get into the office, we're still here.- Belle DeMont

"I have concerns about it coming to Canada, that [that] divisive and hateful language will become part of our conversation politically," she said. 

At a table covered in signs reading "The Rise of Women = The Rise of the Nation" and "When They Go Low We Go High," Belle DeMont adds a kitten illustration to one reading "Nasty Woman."  The reference is to president Trump's comments about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during their final debate.

"It's a really positive thing in kind of a dark time," said the 25-year-old DeMont, who plans to bring paints and supplies to the rally to encourage people to make their own signs. 

"We want to remind all the little girls out there that even though someone who says those terrible things could get into the office, we're still here," she said. 

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