About 2,000 people gathered at the Alberta legislature on Saturday to support the Women’s March on Washington.
The Edmonton event is an offshoot of the larger march taking place in Washington D.C., one day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. It is one of 10 taking place across Canada and joins many others being held around the world.
The event, billed as a peaceful protest, began at 1 p.m. and was to include several speakers as well as a symbolic walk around the fountain at the legislature, according to organizer Paula Kirman.
Organizers said the event is a forum to gather and say that discrimination will not be tolerated. The protests were held because rhetoric from the recent U.S. election has “insulted, demonized and threatened many of us.” They’re referring to things said about groups including women, immigrants and Muslims.
“We will stand in support of all those who have been (and continue to be) the targets of hatred and closed minds,” read a statement from organizers.
“We intend to remain vigilant, here in our country to ensure that the hard-fought gains that have been achieved are not reversed or diluted.”
The event’s keynote speaker, Sandra Jansen, made headlines after she pulled out of the PC leadership race citing harassment. She crossed the floor to the NDP not long after and was in the spotlight again after revealing the misogynistic, sexist comments that she said had been directed at her after changing parties.
One woman who was dressed as the Statue of Liberty, suggested that even though there is a border between the two countries, Canadians can’t help but be impacted by developments in the U.S.
“I think that (Trump) has inspired a lot more vocal sexism and racism, and I have experienced that personally,” Lori Webber said.
Another protester also suggested that U.S. trends often end up in Canada as well.
“If it’s happening there, there’s a large chance it will happen here,” Halfyard said.
-with files from Fletcher Kent, Phil Heidenreich, The Canadian Press and The Associated Press.