Okanagan asked to rally for Women’s March on Washington

American expats lead the way for local social activism

Alison Moore can’t help but get emotional when she talks about the Women’s March in Washington.

While she may live in Kelowna, she was raised in the U.S. on a steady diet of social activism.

“My mother started the antiwar movement in my town in Pennsylvania, and she was a civil rights activist,” said Moore.

“For my 14th birthday on Nov. 15, 1969, we went to the Vietnam Moratorium march on Washington, where there were 500,000 people it was a life changing event.”

Now, all these years after that historic event, Moore and her daughter are carrying on where her mother left off.

Her daughter is travelling to Washington to participate in the Jan. 21 Washington Women’s March.

Moore, alongside friend Beth Ferrell, is organizing the Okanagan rally in support of the march

Related: The pussyhat project has reached the Okanagan

“I ask myself why I’m doing this every morning and each time I realize I’m joining generations of people who have exercised their right to peaceful gatherings to make their voice known about what they are perceiving is the injustice of the moment,” she said. “There were the abolitionists in the 19th century, civil rights activists mid-century and anti-war protestors who got us out of Vietnam. I am marching for all of those people to continue that drive for justice and equal rights all of us marching across the world are following in the footsteps of our ancestors.”

The Kelowna rally will feature a number of speakers, including Westbank chief Roxanne Lindley and, Moore hopes, representatives of other faiths.

She’s asked these people to participate because the effort both in cities around the world, as well as in Washington, is to raise attention for human rights.

“This is not an anti-Trump rally,” she said. “This is people coming together to stand up for all the promises of the constitution All genders, religions and ages are marching because we believe in the rights of all people to have social and economic justice.”

The Women’s March on Washington began with a Facebook page put up in the hours after the results of the U.S. presidential election were made clear. Since then it has spread across North America.

“This event welcomes anyone and everyone who supports women’s rights, equal rights, human rights, social and economic justice, and non-discrimination,” said Moore.

“Violation of these rights, especially those of women, whether through words, actions or policies and victimization of women, immigrants, people of colour or different sexual persuasions will not be condoned.”

All people, regardless of gender, gender identification, ethnicity, racial heritage, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation and/or socioeconomic status shall be treated equally and equitably, with respect, dignity and justice for all.

Okanagan women are being asked to meet at the Sails sculpture downtown Saturday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m.