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Dozens gather to walk through downtown Woodstock for the first-ever Women’s March

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Participants in the Women's Movement March walked through the downtown core in Woodstock Saturday morning. (HEATHER RIVERS, Sentinel-Review)

Participants in the Women's Movement March walked through the downtown core in Woodstock Saturday morning. (HEATHER RIVERS, Sentinel-Review)

For the first-time ever women in Woodstock walked through the downtown core demanding an end to violence, injustice and inequality.

“We are making history,” organizer Kate Leatherbarrow told the crowd just before the march began Saturday morning. “We are the faces of the future. We must stand together and rise above anyone who gets in our way.”

Leatherbarrow, who recently said she will run for city council this year, explained she organized the march to raise awareness about injustice, the need for more women to take a more active role in politics, the importance of nonviolence and human rights.

“We celebrating with women across the globe,” Leatherbarrow said.

The Woodstock women and men joined thousands of activists around the world in marking the anniversary of last January's Women's March, which took place following the swearing in of US President Donald Trump.

“I think women are undervalued in society and we have a problem with sexual assault,” said Kelly Byers, explaining why she took part in the march. “I’d like to stand in support of fellow women. I’m happy to see some men here as well.”

Protester Kim Moir said she was also there due to events that resulted in the #metoo movement.

“It’s different world,” she said. “This amplifies nonviolence against women.”

Marching protesters were greeted by a line of women with signs representing the anti-abortion movement in Oxford County.

“We heard about the walk and wanted to make sure pro-life women and pre-born women are also represented,” said Maaike Rosendal.

According to her online profile, Rosendal works for The Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform.

Late last year Leatherbarrow had presented a petition to Woodstock city councillors asking them take action to prevent graphic, gory images, such as aborted human fetuses, on city streets.

The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, who produces and distributes the material, has said they will challenge any attempts to stop them from using the images in court.

HRivers@postmedia.com