This morning (January 21), thousands of Vancouverites flocked to Jack Poole Plaza to stand in solidarity with those participating in the Women’s March on Washington.
The event served to champion the liberties of all those attacked, mocked, and demonized during Donald Trump’s election campaign and to send a message to the newly sworn-in president and similar thinking factions that acts of hate and discrimination will not be tolerated.
Organizers estimate that 15,000 to 20,000 Vancouverites turned out for the rally. Leading up to the demonstration, over 8,000 people had RSVP’d.
Many toted signs advocating for the dismantling of patriarchy; LGBT rights; the takedown of white supremacy; the reproductive rights of women; the value of Black, Indigenous, and other oppressed bodies; action on climate change; and more. Many others wore pink “pussyhats”, hand-knit caps decorated with peaks resembling cat ears that nod to—and reclaim—Trump’s misogynistic remarks.
The crowd grew so large that citizens spilled onto the Shaw Tower and Fairmont Pacific Rim properties across the street. Various roads in the downtown core were also shut down to vehicle traffic.
The protest began at Jack Poole Plaza at 10 a.m., where attendees heard speeches from the likes of Musqueam Band member Rhiannon Bennett, Indigenous language advocate Khelsilem, human-rights activist Nancy Trigueros, and Vancouver City councillor Heather Deal.
Participants then proceeded to march past the U.S. Consulate on West Pender Street and Trump International Hotel & Tower on West Georgia Street before returning to the plaza, where Vancouver-based country-music trio the Heels, artist and activist Jodie Ortega, and other figures took to the stage.
Check out the images below for a snapshot of the rally and the thousands of people who showed up for the event.