Saturday, February 26, 2011

Walk for Choice Toronto 2010

My Experience:

I woke up at eight thirty this morning to shower, get dressed, and head out. I walked to the Viva, took it to Finch, and rode the subway to get to the intersection of Spadina and Bloor. I got there at eleven thirty, and suddenly felt very alone-seeing no one else in orange, not sure where to stand, where to wait. A few minutes later, I saw wo people walking up the street, both with orange armbands on their coats, one holding a bag of signs. It took me a few minutes, but I got up the nerve to go and ask if they were there for the Walk-and luckily they were! And just like that, the uncertainty was gone, because I knew at least two other people were there.

Kira and Walker were generous enough to share the plethora of signs around and though the best was reserved for the maker-of-signs, Kira (GOVERNMENT, Y U NO TRUST WOMEN?) I was and am pretty thrilled with the sign they gave me:

I'm the one in the orange hat! "Keep your theology off my biology!" with the FSM.

We talked for a while, and then saw a girl with an orange flower in her head cross the street. She began to speak to another girl in an orange scarf, and so we followed, correctly assuming that they were also there for the speech. Chanty Morris was the girl with the orange flower (pictured above), and she's the one who organized the Toronto Walk. We waited and chatted as our group grew, swelling to maybe 40-60 people in full, by my estimation. Please note I am bad at math. What was odd though was that a small flock of pigeons kept flying between us and a Pizza Pizza across the road.

I still firmly believe that they were pro-life robot spy-pigeons that got confused by the orange of the Pizza Pizza and the orange we wore.

Chanty, by the way, went into a studio and recorded this awesome parody she wrote, as a sort of theme song for today, and I love it.

We spent maybe thirty minutes listening to speeches given by Chanty and several different pro-choice advocates, mainly working with the Ontario Abortion Coalition. (I've probably gotten their name wrong. Again, I'll fix it when I remember the right name/get reminded of the right name.) People kept honking their horns, giving us thumbs up, and that was kind of great. Several people stopped, listened, and joined into the walk, which was even greater.

The speeches were excellent, and then we were off on our walk, stopping at the end to see a fire-bombed clinic from back in the day, where we heard two more people speak, and then played Chanty's 'Forget You' Parody. We ended up at a lovely Unitarian Church, where the OAC's headquarters were, and milled about there for a while, talking and such. We spoke to one man who stopped to ask about what we were protesting, who completely agreed with us and predicted that Harper was on his way out. We met two women who were very disappointed that they couldn't have joined in. But they were rehearsing for the Vagina Monologues, so we had feminist high-fives, and that was good.

I want to do more of this kind of thing, I loved this experience, I loved standing up for a woman's right to choose, I loved being with so many people on the same page as me, and I hope that I get more of these kinds of opportunities.

Also, for anyone in Canada, MTV Canada was there filming, and Chanty said that we might be on MTV on Monday, so check out their news program and see if we made it!

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