Women from diverse communities marched through downtown Montreal on Saturday 26 November, after hearing messages that brought life to global and local conflicts and the resistance of women here and around the world to protect the land, water, the air and our futures!


The demonstration was one of the actions to mark the 12 Days to End Violence Against Women, held annually in Canada starting from 25th November (UN Day to End Violence Against Women) to 6th December (anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre of 14 women in 1989, by an anti-feminist man)


Jasmin and Amelia of the 8th March Committee of  Women of Diverse Origins (WDO) facilitated the assembly, calling up the speakers: Marie of Women of Diverse Origins, a member of the International Women’s Alliance, spoke about the role of US imperialism and the Trudeau government in wars in several corners of the world, and the women who are on the front lines of resistance. She also paid tribute to Fidel Castro, who died the day before. Inti animated a short sketch with a giant puppet, made especially for the march, Mizgin spoke on behalf of the Committee of Kurdish Women of Montreal of the courage of the women of Kurdistan in the struggle for their survival as a people. Isabel Polanco of the Colombian People’s Organization, on tour in Canada, spoke about the struggles of women farmers; The Movement Against Rape and Incest presented a skit and then acted as marshals of the demonstration with their visible aprons.


The march began with the sounds of the fanfare which gave rhythm and punctuated the slogans: No a la guerra! Resistencia! Children of Iraq, children of Palestine, It is the humanity that is assassinated! Occupation Ya Basta! Afghanistan Ya Basta! One two three four, We do not want your bloody war! Five six seven eight, organize and demonstrate! So-so-so Solidarity! With women all over the world!


A stop at Dominion Square allowed a number of other women to speak: Les mémés enragés with the Raging Grannies – sang their popular anti-war songs – always amusing and hard-hitting! Chantal of the Support Committee to the Haitian People’s Court against occupation and domination, spoke of the occupation of Haiti by foreign troops allegedly bringing humanitarian aid, Marikit of Anakbayan Europe spoke of youth mobilizing as they have in each generation – concluding with a little rap; Esther Madrid from the Consulate of Venezuela brought her message of solidarity from the women of her country and Zahia el-Masri from Palestine spoke of the importance of continuing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel for its illegal and murderous occupation of the Palestinian territories. Dolores of the South Asian Women’s Center began by talking about the settler-colonial context in which the demonstration was taking place, highlighting the revelations of many years of sexual violence against indigenous women in northern Quebec by the provincial police who enjoy impunity.  She then  spoke of the horrendous violence in Kashmir in which civilians are tagetted, the firing across the line of control, the resistance of the Kashmiri people and the courage of the women especially. She also talked about the state violence in Manipur and the stand women have taken, including the heroic hunger strike by Iron Sharmila for 16 years, which just ended this summer.  And the conditions that have forced Dalits and adivasis to take up arms against the state, and the repression against them.  Jeanne of the proletarian feminist front concluded that to end war, it is revolution that must waged!

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