International Women’s March Anniversary
The International Women’s March was held last year on January 27, 2017. Over 550 rallies were held in 82 countries, including one in Lethbridge.
The march was organized in response to the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, due to his controversial positions on women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, freedom of religion and workers’ rights.
The Lethbridge demonstration drew over 600 people. Elisabeth Pfeffel, a 94-year-old resident of Coaldale who had never attended a political demonstration before, came with her granddaughter, Jana Mackenze. Pfeffel said, “All of a sudden I was free. I could tell the people, ‘I’m here. This is what I want to do.’… If you go through a war like I did and you never know if you’re still alive, you have sympathy… You have compassion for people… I says, ‘I’m here Mr. Trump and I want to tell you how much I dislike you!’”
Facilitator Annelies van Oers hoped the event would help draw attention to the divisions in Lethbridge’s political and social landscape. She said, “I think people really started to wake up to the fact that they need to be active, that they can’t just assume that somebody else is going to do it… We have our own MLAs with threats that you would not believe, the things they have to deal with on a daily basis… What I’ve seen in Lethbridge [are] so many different communities that have been persecuted or are persecuted currently.”
Objects from the demonstration have been accessioned into the Galt’s collection to preserve a piece of this story for the future. Some of these artifacts will be part of the Galt’s new exhibit For Keeps: Collecting Memories, developed by Guest Curator Jane Edmundson. The Exhibit Grand Opening and the Curator Presents… will be held on Sun JAN 28 from 2-3 pm at the Galt Museum & Archives.
Jane Edmundson (BFA, MA)