STU students unite in march for women’s rights

In solidarity with hundreds of thousands around the world, several St. Thomas University students participated in the Fredericton Women’s March on Saturday to promote women’s rights following the election of Donald Trump.

“[The election of Donald Trump] reminds us that gender equality has not been achieved,” said Nelly Dennene, executive director of Régroupement Féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick and a guest speaker at the Fredericton Women’s March.

“We have to raise awareness, it’s an important issue.”

During the hour-long march from city hall to the legislature, many passers-by looked on and some drivers honked their car horns.

STU students felt the impact of their actions as they walked among the hundreds present.

STU student Katherine Conran said, “It’s kind of powerful … It’s not only us, but millions of people.”

According to the Women’s March website, protests took place in more than 22 cities across Canada and with an estimated 673 similar marches across the world. The movement demonstrated the global support of equality held by all races, genders and ages.

Human rights student Emily Desroches said, “[it] shows a unity across the world.”

STU student Rachel Slipp said, “It’s nice to be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself.”

“We have come here to work against hate, against sexism and against racism,” said lead organizer Marsha Clark.

Among the crowd, STU students cheered at her words.

“We don’t support the negative rhetoric being put forward by Donald Trump,” said Desroches.

When Desroches and Slipp decided to travel downtown to participate in this worldwide movement, they wanted to “promote equality.”

As the crowds amassed in front of their destination, the New Brunswick Legislature, holding signs promoting feminism, equality and anti-Trump rhetoric, chants of “No more silence! No more violence!” and “This patriarchy has got to go!” rang throughout the square.

In the end, Conran was happy to have participated in the march to show support to women in the United States and around the world.

“Canada’s a great place and we want to love and support everybody, and we want to love and support everyone in the States as well.”

Many hope these protests will demonstrate, as Slipp states, “there isn’t a place for hateful rhetoric in politics.”

Will Trump take note of the numerous marches sparked across the world in part from his behaviours? Conrad is doubtful.

“Not as much as he should,” she said. Still, she is hopeful.

“You have to start small to make a big impact,” said Conran.

Dennene agreed, adding “This is only the beginning. We must continue.”

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