Women’s march in downtown Victoria on Saturday

Victoria’s fourth annual women’s march on Saturday will focus on the ongoing struggles that women and trans, non-binary, and two-spirit people face.

The event starts with speeches by organizers, Indigenous elders and community leaders at 11 a.m. on the lawn in front of the legislature building, before heading to Centennial Square for musical performances.

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Victoria’s march is part of a worldwide social movement and one of many international events to take place this weekend, sparked by the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump in January 2017. Hundreds of thousands of people attended the first women’s march in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2017 — one day after Trump took office — to protest the president, who has bragged about using his star power to grope women without their consent.

Organizer Astra Lund-Phillips said the march is about networking and action, “and also just to show that four years later, we’re all still here and not much has changed, and we’re all still fighting for the same cause.”

The event brought out hundreds of people in Victoria last year. Organizers are expecting more than 1,000 people this year, which prompted them to move the endpoint of the march from Bastion Square to the larger Centennial Square.

This year’s march emphasizes the fact that Indigenous peoples face higher rates of violence and discrimination. Lund-Phillips said while marches in the U.S. are more about protesting Trump, Victoria’s event will focus on Canadian issues such as missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Coinciding with the march, a province-wide campaign is calling on the provincial government to include free prescription contraception in the 2020 budget.

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