Despite the pouring rain and the chill in the air, a collective warmth was felt by over 200 hundred people at this incredible event.
The rally began with a heartwrenching testament from Sheri Underwood, a Saanich woman with firsthand experience with the overwhelming prevalence of child apprehension in Indigenous communities. She also spoke to the brutal history of residential schools, and the effect it had on her family. Needless to say, her courage in the sharing of the emotionally charged realism of colonialism was cheered wholeheartedly as she left the stage.
The entertainment was nothing short of superb as well. Current AVP trainees donned their umbrellas and rain gear and flocked to the steps as Compassion Gorilla took the stage; an 8 piece group of musicians that fuses latin rythyms, folk, and worldbeat to produce an unforgettable and unique sound.
While grooving to local talent, and being inspired by guest speakers, I wandered around the rest of the event to absorb as much as I could. The lovely volunteers and staff here at AVP had a table set up to inform, educate, and provide support to the many individuals attending Rock for reproductive justice. UVic Pride, UVic womens centre, and other advocacy groups were represented at the event with no shortage of pamplets, zines, buttons, and safe sex supplies.
By the time I left I was covered in buttons from the various booths present in the square, my personal favorite capturing the essence of the event; keep your laws off my body!
For more information on reproductive justice, check out Sistersong a women of color reproductive justice collective.
photo courtesy of Reproductive Justice Victoria