We were close to 1000 people marching in downtown Montreal on the occasion of International Women’s Day at the call of Women of Diverse Origins on March 8, 2019. It was twilight on a working day when we gathered and joined with millions around the world to mark this day of women’s struggle for liberation.
Women Against Forced Displacement and Neo-Fascism – for an End to inequality! was our rallying cry. In Philips Square, downtown Montreal, we were surrounded by snowbanks and street construction – but raring to celebrate together and make our voices heard.
As we assembled, the Raging Grannies got us tapping our feet and singing along to their popular songs with political lyrics, and Tess and Kim of Women of Diverse Origins gave a rousing context for why we are marching this year.
Marlene Hale of the Wet’suwet’en community welcomed us in recognition of the indigenous land we were on and the ongoing struggles of the original peoples for their land and the environment, struggles which affect us all.
Claire and Mauly gave the instructions to march and we took to the streets with our banners and placards.
Louisa, Jennie-Laure, and Bea led the chants.
We were from different ethnic communities, migrants, workers, union and community activists, students demanding paid internships in female-dominated professions, refugees of all generations and genders.
When we got to the end of our planned route, we had the sound truck turn up the music to RESPECT, and danced to the famous Aretha Franklin tune that has come to symbolize the fight for women’s liberation.