One of the largest demonstrations of resistance made history this past weekend.

On Jan. 21, millions of people around the world gathered in solidarity to send a bold message to the newly inaugurated president of the United States; that women’s rights and equality will be fought for, and that hatred of any kind will not be tolerated.

The Women’s March on Washington, a global grassroots solidarity movement, was planned in response to the harmful rhetoric that took place during the recent presidential election. The march acts as a chance for women and allies to defend their rights and to make an international demonstration of solidarity, diversity and inclusivity.

With over 673 sister marches held internationally, including one in Hamilton, and approximately 4,603,500 people registered to participate in the movement, the Women’s March on Washington may be the largest demonstration of unity following a presidential inauguration in history.

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“It’s important to have these solidarity movements outside of Washington, firstly, because women’s rights are a global issue,” said Hamilton co-organizer, Anna Davey. “But I think it is also important for us to move internationally, to show each other that we have each others’ backs, and that we will not be quiet in the face of intolerance and discrimination.”

Hundreds of activists gathered in Hamilton to demonstrate solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington and to enable community building. Originally, the march was planned to begin at City Hall and move to Gore Park, organizers made the decision to shift their focus onto a high-energy and powerful rally due to accessibility concerns instead.

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“The march [gave] Hamiltonians the chance to make connections,” said Davey. “It gives us the chance to meet each other, to unite, and to collectively shoulder the burdens that are unfairly placed on so many in our community– immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA Native people, Black and Brown people, peo-ple with disabilities and survivors of sexual assault.”

Hamilton’s rally also saw over a dozen speakers and performers from different organizations that are involved in human rights and equity services within the Hamilton area, including the Social Planning and Research Council, the YWCA Hamilton, Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton Area) and the McMaster Womanists, ultimately inspiring and enabling attendees to move forward in protecting women’s rights.

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“I stood in a crowd of around a thousand women today, not knowing a single one beside me but I felt if something were to happen I would be protected by them,” said attendee Kandel Kindred. “It’s a reminder that we are all one, all equal. No power or enforcement is stronger than another, we are all the same and that needs to be practiced on a daily basis, not just at movements such as this.”

Hamilton’s march organizers will be publishing a call to action on their social media channels to provide supporters direct actions they can take to protect and advocate for women’s rights.

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