Sunday, the annual Women’s March for Missing and Murdered Women wound its way through Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, only a block from the route of a Chinese New Year parade earlier that morning.
An estimated three thousand marchers followed the families women who have disappeared or been killed in the area. As drums opened the event, some members of the crowd pointed eagerly to three eagles circling high above the intersection of Main and Hastings.
Many of those who attended wore their traditional regalia to celebrate the lives of these women and demand greater action on the part of all levels of government to protect the women who live and work in marginalized areas such as Vancouver’s East Side. Alaina Tom of the Secwepmc Nation near Chase, B.C. held a carved staff aloft as the crowd sang during the opening ceremonies.
"It's important to show that we support the families of these women," said a marcher named Lone Buffalo Woman who had travelled from St. John New Brunswick to attend.
As First Nation drums from across Canada resounded against walls of the closely packed apartment buildings of the East Side, the march wound its way through the neighborhood. The drums fell silent only for smudging ceremonies at the spots where a murdered woman’s body had been found or the last place a missing woman was seen.
"There is not enough action on these issues," said Tom at the end of the memorial march, holding her staff aloft as a signal for her family. "Sometimes I use this so my kids can find me," she said with a smile.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association legal observers accompanied the march, at times helping marchers and drivers navigate the route.
For more photos see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimkim/sets/72157623445427722/
Thank you for reading this story...
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.
If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.
We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.