From left to right: Maria Tokarchuk, Carol Taylor and Anas Qartoumeh carry signs as part of the third March on Kelowna event to advocate for women’s rights Saturday in downtown Kelowna. - Carli Berry/Capital News

Women’s March draws small crowd in Kelowna

The small, but passionate, group marched along Water Street Saturday

While the third annual Women’s March had only a fraction of the turnout the first Women’s March on Washington had in Kelowna, one activist continues to show her support.

“I’ve been an activist all my life, I’ve been in the trenches since the Vietnam war and back in San Fransico in the 1960s,” said Kelowna resident Carol Taylor. “I was raised on protesting the negative aspects of our culture.”

The Trump administration galvanised people in this town, what he’s doing is chipping away at democracy, she said.

“I think women and men… we have to be part of it and there’s such unity and spirit when you march together. It’s thrilling and it gives me renewed energy to keep going,” she said.

Taylor renounced her American citizenship as part of a statement against President Donald Trump.

“I’ve embraced Canada… I felt that was the statement I wanted to make to my family in the states and my Canadian family.”

She was also part of the first march in 2017.

Anas Qartoumeh, from Syria, also participated in the march. He said as a gay man living in the Middle East, he found support from his friends who are women.

“I believe in woman equality. I really want to encourage women to be strong and tell them you’re not alone as they’ve also supported me,” he said.

About 15 marchers walked down Water Street Saturday morning, carrying signs that read “Women will heal our earth, help them” and “Women of CUPW.”

Organizer Marlice Deptuch said she had 35 people who were originally interested with the march and she hopes to raise awareness to include all people in society with the march.

READ MORE: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women’s marches are taking place across Canada and the United States. The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people. The exact size of the turnout remains subject to a politically charged debate, but it’s generally regarded as the largest Washington protest since the Vietnam era.

— With files from The Canadian Press


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