Protesters gathered at Norman Bethune Square on March 8 to demonstrate against the austerity measures and neoliberal policies of Quebec’s Liberal government as part of a series of global actions to mark International Women’s Day.
The demonstrators, representing a wide range of activist groups and communities, called out the disproportionate effects of these measures on minority groups, including women, and especially women of colour. “We also denounce the laws and policies in Canada and Quebec, attacking the rights of immigrant and refugee women and their families, temporary workers who will never get permanent status, creating a permanent class of sub-citizens,” the event page stated.
The event was also meant to oppose Islamophobia, and the specific impact it has on Muslim women.
The protest was organized by Women of Diverse Origins, a grassroots anti-imperialist women’s organization which has been coordinating an annual International Women’s Day march in Montreal since 2002. International Women’s Day was created by women’s movements in the early 1900s in the U.S., and was first recognized as an international event by the United Nations in 1975.