Organizers of Sarnia-Lambton’s second Women’s March are hoping last year’s massive turnout is a sign of good things to come.
“It was pretty much the worst weather it could have been last year,” said Lila Palychuk, a member of Women’s March Canada’s local chapter.
Despite heavy snow falling and a cold alert, more than 500 people took part in the inaugural march in January.
“That’s almost double what we were expecting,” she said.
The second event will be held Jan. 18 in conjunction with Women’s March events around the world.
This year’s theme, March for our Lives, centres around body autonomy — defined as the ‘right to self-governance over one’s own body without coercion or external pressures.’
“It encompasses period equality, access to abortion, and so much more than that,” said Palychuk.
“No matter who you are, bodily autonomy is important to all of us,” added member Sacha Coutu. “Everyone should be able to make their own decisions regarding their own bodies.”
The event begins at 11 a.m. with speakers at the Lambton Mall parking lot, followed by a march up and down London Road.
“It’s a shorter route but more impactful; we’ll be more visible,” said Palychuk.
Speakers include abortion advocate Mallory Daley, local Tampon Tuesday advocate Michelle Parks, and Aamjiwnaang Band Council member Janelle Nahmabin.
Millions took to the streets worldwide for the first Women’s March in January 2017 — a protest spurred by the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and fuelled by the #MeToo movement. Participants spoke up for women’s equality, human rights, health-care reform, immigration reform and reproductive rights.
The local chapter was formed last year and joined a growing number of groups advocating for the advancement of Canadian women.
The event is open to all ages.
“There were toddlers marching last year, and even my 80-year-old mother joined us,” said member Shona Smith. “The more, the merrier.”
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: 2nd annual Women’s March, Sarnia-Lambton
WHEN: Jan. 18, 2020, 11 a.m.
WHERE: Lambton Mall parking lot (behind the Canadian Tire gas bar)
DETAILS: All are welcome