Our Red Umbrella March on Saturday, June 8, 2013 went really, really well. A big, big thank you to everyone who participated and contributed and made it such a success!
What a busy day that day with the north lawns filled with bhangra performances and tents, and the south steps filled with Falun Gong meditators. And, it was Family Day at the Gallery.
What a courteous and professional police escort we had. I felt very secure after the officer came and spoke with me, explaining how these things work, how not to not block traffic etc. We had officers on bikes and on motorcycles leading the way.
We couldn't have asked for better weather! Not too hot to start then full bright sun during our march down Hastings Street where bystanders joined in the parade and young men hung out the windows of the hostel, hooting! A full chorus of our chants rang through the streets, which included: "My Body, My Business", "Keep Your Laws Off My Body", "Sex Workers Rights are Human Rights" and "Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs."
We started out with 40 people from the Art Gallery, and had about 100 people or more at the peak, around Victory Square. Final head count once we reached Pivot Legal was 76.
We got great press! We got a full page in the Sunday Province newspaper (print edition), with half-page colour photo, a story on the Canadian Press wire, and an editorial in the Metro News (print edition). We all got clips from interviews on CTV and Global BC 6 o'clock news, and the CBC at 11. (See links below.)
The event was part of a National Day of Action, with similar events happening in six cities, including Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, and there was news coverage all across the country. The National Day of Action was initiated by Madame J from Montreal, and organized by an ad hoc committee of over 40 sex worker activists and allies from across Canada.