January 22, 2018
Picture – Chicago Tribune. “Weekend of women’s marches promises continued momentum”
As CANVAS aims to spread the word of “people power” to the world, nonviolent struggle proves a powerful tool for achieving freedom, democracy, and human rights. In line with CANVAS’s mission, this weekend bore witness to a global Women’s March.
January 21st, 2018 marked the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March in Washington DC last year. Over the weekend, “thousands of women, femmes, and allies” came together around the world in commemoration and advancement of their cause. Their mission, to “Look Back, March Forward and launch [their] collective 2018 Women’s March agenda: #PowerToThePolls”. The goal is to empower women and their allies, first by having their voices heard through their votes, and then further through their inclusion in positions of influence and power, especially in government. Moreover, the marches also highlighted the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements against sexual assault and harassment.
Marching in Solidarity
Women, men, and children around the world marched in solidarity this weekend at over 500 events across six continents including in: France, New Zealand, Kyrgyzstan, Zambia, Spain, Ecuador, Italy, the United Kingdom, the US, and more.
USA – Dozens of Women’s Marches filled cities across the United States, at which attendees supported and advocated women’s rights and equality. This year’s main focus was on making people’s voices heard by urging supporters and allies to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. The rally held in Las Vegas, Nevada marked the official anniversary rally of last year’s Women’s March held in Washington DC. The main focus was “using activism to generate concrete action at the ballot box”. Tamika Mallory, co-chairwoman of the national Women’s March organization, proclaimed: “We have to march together, we have to organize together, we have to mobilize together and we have to vote together, even when we don’t like one another”. Other marches were simultaneously taking place in Seattle, Miami, Phoenix and several other cities across the country and even around the world.
Toulouse, France – A #MeToo gathering was organized on Sunday the 21st for the Women’s March anniversary weekend. Both women and men gathered to share their experiences, while at the same time learning about others’ experiences, in an attempt to produce ideas for positive change. The vision is to create a world in which the sons and daughters of people around the world are respected and treated equally. Power and change comes from people gathering and sharing their experiences, while at the same time supporting each other.
Athens, Greece – The people of Greece marched for change, highlighting that it is time to make a difference and “press for the world that we want”. They marched for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, equality in the workplace, refugee rights, climate change, gender equality, and religious tolerance.
Munich, Germany – People marched from Siegestor to Marienplatz “to rally for the foundational rights and dignity of all people and register US citizens to vote in upcoming elections”. Meghan Driscoll, the Munich chapter chair of Democrats Abroad, emphasized that “while this march supports women taking on greater leadership roles, a fundamental part of that empowerment is to first listen to women and believe in them”. A significant goal of the march was to send a loud and clear message to Washington that “President Trump’s personally abhorrent behavior (accused of sexual assault and harassment) will not be tolerated in the future”.
“Every little step we take together for a good cause will take us into a better future.”