Women, men and children marched from Queen’s Park to Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday in solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington D.C. and around the world.
Thirteen thousand people joined the demonstration in Toronto, according to the march’s Facebook group. Some organizers estimated as many as 60,000 attended.
The march started at Queen’s Park where marchers listened to speeches. Holding signs and chanting, they marched down both lanes of University Avenue and onto Queen St. West ending at Nathan Phillips Square.
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam spoke before City Hall and implored marchers to tweet to Mayor John Tory that“Toronto women will march to the ballot box in 2018 — we need gender equity in the city budget.”
Marchers advocated for a diverse number of causes.
“I’m marching for equality for all,” marcher Shereta Bowers said. “I’m marching against sexism, racism, xenophobia, ageism; anything there’s a boundary for.”
Megan Nicely said she is marching for all marginalized people, including Muslims.
“We just want to see our rights protected,” she said. “We want to see that Black lives matter, we want to see that the gay community has the right to live and love the way they want to love. We just want to be able to be equal, like everyone else should be.”
Marches were held in 60 countries around the world. The march in Washington D.C. attracted over 500,000 people, city officials said.
Although officially the march in Toronto was not an anti-Donald Trump march, many marchers expressed their dissatisfaction with the man who had been inaugurated as president of the United States the day before.
Asked if this was an anti-Trump march, Nicely said, “In some ways it is. It’s more for our rights. Because Trump has been attacking the rights of women, and that’s how his campaign was run, and that’s how he won it in the states….
“It can’t happen here — we’re too fierce,” she said.
Other marchers agreed.
“It’s also a march to demonstrate that people are not going to put up with that kind of ideology of racism and sexism and homophobia,” Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston said. “It’s a march for a better world,”