Torontonians joined cities across the world to protest the Trump presidency in a show of unity for human rights.
On Saturday Jan. 21, about 60,000 women, men and children gathered at Queen’s Park to join in as a sister rally of the Women’s March on Washington.
The inauguration of the 45th President of the United States stimulated a global movement. Women’s March on Washington took place in 500 cities within the United States, while sister marches took place in all seven continents.
With Canada being a close partner to the United States, it was no surprise that Toronto showed support.
“In many ways we benefit from a lot of the policies that have been developing over time in the United States and are now being retracted with the new administration,” says Sarah Mason Case, 35, who marched with the company of her parents that come from different walks of life.
“We’re multiple generations coming from different places across the world,” says Mason Case. “I think it’s really important to show solidarity with women worldwide.”
Trade is another component as to why it was important for Toronto to march. “Canada is one of America’s trading partners,” says Rachel Bishop, 19. “It just shows how we [Canadians] feel about it. It’s pretty valuable.”
One of reasons behind why Torontonians showed support was for a more environmentally friendly world.
Elise Houghton, 69, of Milton who is an environmental activist says she has concerns for the future of climate change with the Trump presidency.
“I’ve worked for years on trying to improve climate change in the education system. And Trump has already taken down the climate content on all of the American websites – the first thing he did. To say we’re going back to fossil fuels and the coal economy, that’s why I’m here.”
People also showed solidarity for other marginalized communities affected by Trump.
“Marching in solidarity, especially with our sisters and brothers and non-gender identifying family members, relatives, in the United States as well as around the world,” says Duate Adegbite, 32, a worker for Hassle Free sexual health clinic. “Marching for, unfortunately, lack of equality and trying to increase equality in terms of gender and racial relations, LGBT and indigenous rights. Marching for all women.”
Adegbite also says with the rise of hate crimes occurring in Canada, Toronto needs to stand by those affected.
“Recently they’ve showed an increase in hate crime and hate speech in Canada as well. Especially since this current election in the states, so I think it’s really important for Torontonians we should stand up and we’re not going to sit silently while this becomes a bigger issue in Canada.”
Toronto City Councillor, Krysten Wong-Tam compares the late Rob Ford’s municipal government to Trump’s political agenda.
“Rob Ford was the same type of populist. He waged wars on different people, he created divisions within the city very similarly how Trump did in America,” says Wong-Tam.
Wong-Tam says the Ford and Trump genre government could escalate on the Canadian federal level. Especially with the recent addition of Shark Tanks Kevin O’Leary to the federal conservative leader race.
“We’re seeing federal politicians step forward saying that they want to implement a Trump style of government. So with Kevin O’Leary and Kellie Leitch saying what they’re saying in Ottawa, I think that we should be very concerned that we’re not going to see an alt-right government and take over in Ottawa.”