A new advocacy group headed to the doorstep of Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey to flex its muscles for the first time.
The Sarnia Intersectional Feminist Network was born this spring in response to reports hate crimes are on the rise and the arrival in Sarnia of the Yellow Vest protest movement, said spokesperson Madeline Vrolyk.
“We really just felt we wanted to have more of a voice on what’s going on in Sarnia. We’re hoping our group can make a little bit of a difference.”
First up for the eight-member group was organizing the rally at Bailey’s office to oppose the Ford government’s proposed cuts to education.
They were joined by dozens of students, educators and union reps on March 15, many carrying homemade signs and denouncing proposed reductions in OSAP, tuition breaks and school maintenance funding, among other things.
“There’s so much to protest,” Vrolyk said. “We just really want to show Bob Bailey that we’re here to make some noise and make sure he hears us out.”
Bailey said he would be happy to meet with members of the Network, just as he’s met with other advocacy groups in the past.
Any cuts made to education will all be done in the interest of sustainability, he added.
The group is planning more protests as well as fundraising events for marginalized groups, such as local trans youth, Vrolyk said.
The name, intersectional feminist, refers to the intersecting of different identities, creating different experiences for people, Vrolyk explained.
“For example, me as a white woman, won’t experience the world in the same way an indigenous woman will,” she said.
The network intends to register as a non-profit and is recruiting volunteers from all walks to assist with finance, social media, event planning and political advocacy, she said.
“Everyone has a different experience, and I think that’s the big core value of intersectional feminism.”