On Saturday January 21st. the first, in what I am sure will be many more protests to come, took to the streets around the world. I knew this would be something special when the 506 streetcar I was on was already completely full of women when we got to Lansdowne. Every stop on the rest of the trip packed with people heading for Queen’s Park. This was the Toronto version of the Women’s March on Washington. A direct response to the events that took place in Washington just the day before. Many thousands of people gathered to show their disdain for newly sworn in “President Donald Trump” and to express real fear and worry for the gains made and still to be made in terms of women’s rights and human rights in general. I have covered many protests and rallies in Toronto but have never been in a crowd this large. Women, men and children of all ages and backgrounds, estimated at over 50,000, gathered and packed the entire south lawn and all the way to College St.. As the march headed south on University Avenue the entire street was taken up in a sea of humanity. As peaceful as the march was, as we got close to the U.S. Consulate it was evident that the Police had also come prepared.
The massive crowd then filled Nathan Phillips Sq. on the ground as well as filling all the balconies that surround the square. Many of the speakers mentioned a new revolution, a new uprising. Many years in the making and perhaps now is the time to take this revolution to the next level. Reality is that the male dominated world we have created is failing. I believe that not only is it important for women everywhere to be safe and treated equally, but true equality cannot exist until we all understand that women do hold some of the answers to the world’s problems and together we can make a difference and perhaps reverse some of the damage already done. As frightening as the events in the U.S. are for all of us if we continue to stand together, as we did on Saturday, maybe Love will conquer hate and maybe we can all live in an inclusive society and concentrate our efforts on the truly important issues facing this planet. As Deb Parent, one of the organizers said, this event was a part of history and truly the beginning of a new global uprising. These marches were held in cities around the entire world and if the numbers are any indication, if we unite we can and will be heard. Thanks to everyone that marched and thanks for letting me be a part of it. It was an incredible way to spend a Saturday in Toronto.