Students Join International Women’s Day March

Photo Julia Jones

A March 8 International Women’s Day demonstration collided with several other protests all taking place in downtown Montreal today.

A march left the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at 2 p.m. today, and joined another group of demonstrators by 6:00 p.m. at Norman Bethune Square at the Sir George Williams campus of Concordia University.

A crowd of mostly women took a stand for women’s rights around the world, and joined up with hundreds of other protesters and marched down Ste. Catherine St. W.

“This International Women’s Day, we recognize the struggles of Palestinian women in their fight against an entrenched system of discrimination and segregation,” said Freda Guttman of Montreal-based diaspora activist collective Tadamon.

The International Women’s Association led the march followed by students protesting tuition fee increases, Israeli Apartheid Week demonstrators and Pinay, a Filipino Women’s Group protesting female workers rights.

Because of the recent amount of strike activity over the last few days and the violent clash between riot police and students yesterday, there was an atmosphere of tension that hung in the air. The protest was surrounded at all times by riot police on horseback, accompanied by police in cars, on bicycles and on foot.

A helicopter hung in the sky carefully watching the progression of the protesters making their way to Philips Square at Union St. and Ste. Catherine St. W.

The protesters continued to block traffic while speakers from each group cheered their reasons for participating in the march.

“Whatever the weather forecast might attest, it is always a beautiful day to smash patriarchy, capitalism and oppression,” said Amy Darwish from the Immigrant Workers Centre.