Every September, the women and allies of Ottawa take to the streets to rally for safer streets for women. But it’s not just about taking back the night. It’s about coming together and showing everyone just how powerful we have become. We demand safety, we demand an end to violence against women, we demand justice, and hell, we want it NOW.
This year, I was late. Yep, that’s right, missed the rally at Minto park because I got the time wrong lol. Thankfully, marches like this don’t usually go very fast, so a light jog is enough to catch up. It was kind of funny, jogging along Rideau Street. I had feminist buttons pinned to my jeans, and was wearing an old white t-shirt I had cut the neck out of and turned inside out with ‘RIOTS not DIETS!’ scrawled on with a red marker (inspired by Val: THANKS!). I was clearly late for the giant march that had just gone by. As I joined the ranks of the march it was wonderful to see such a crowd! The male allies were respectfully holding up the rear guard, and the very large, diverse group of women were yelling “WOMEN! UNITED! WE’LL NEVER BE DEFEATED!” as they rattled cans, banged drums, shook tambourines and screamed about women’s rights with smiles on their faces. I was really happy to see some First Nations women leading the drums at the front. I found some friends quickly, exchanged hellos and joined the chant.
And then they handed me a megaphone.