Saturday, September 19, 2015

Take Back the Night

It's half past midnight and I should be sleeping... gotta go to work in 8 hours. Guess I'm a bit wound up from attending tonight's Take Back the Night march.

Or I should say marches.  There were four marches from four directions convening at Barb Scott Park.  It was pretty tame, kinda lame, compared to last year's police escort through downtown streets.  The sun wasn't even down yet at 7:30 when we left Memorial Park. So, it was more like a Take Back the Early Evening march.

Actually, we left from the corner across the street from Memorial Park.  Beakerhead had their Trip Down the Rabbit Hole art installation at Memorial Park, so the TBTN organizers decided it would be inappropriate for people to meet there for the rally.  At Memorial Park last night I saw people snorting coke with kids around.  Tonight there were homeless sprawled on the lawns with their heavily loaded shopping carts.  A dozen or so people with protest signs hardly seems threatening.  The organizers seem too timid about upsetting City Hall.

It was the speakers that made the evening.  Especially riveting was the niece of Jacqueline “Jackie” Crazybull. Jackie was killed in a random stabbing on 17th Avenue SW several years ago. No one has been charged with her murder.

I've been following First Nation issues for years now. Having native friends when I was a kid is probably what makes me interested. Plus there's colonial guilt. My great grandparents bought land that was First Nation land.

Ashley Callingbull, the first native woman and the first Canadian to ever win the Mrs. Universe pageant, posts on her Facebook page that "it's really terrifying to be a First Nations woman in this country."  She lives near Calgary on the Tsuu T'ina reserve.

That is why rally's like Take Back the Night, as meek as Calgary's seems to be, are needed. These women's stories need to be told.  Are there any politicians with stones enough to listen and follow through?


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