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Joint Statement on the Effects of the “Freedom Convoy” on Women and Children Fleeing Violence

Women’s Shelters Canada and partner provincial and territorial association members condemn the blatant acts of violence, misogyny, and white supremacy demonstrated in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Quebec City, Vancouver, Toronto, Windsor, Edmonton, Coutts, Whitehorse – and elsewhere across the country – over the past couple of weeks.

While we support the right of peaceful protest, differing views, and civil disobedience within our democratic system, we fully condemn the racism, antisemitism, misogyny, Islamophobia, homophobia, and transphobia that have been displayed by some members of the so-called Freedom Convoy as well as some of its organizers. This protest – particularly in Ottawa – has merged into a terror campaign against local residents, including women and children fleeing violence. We condemn the impact these protests have had on freedom of movement, the ability of women experiencing domestic violence to access services, and the ability of shelter workers and other frontline workers and first responders from carrying out their duty of keeping communities safe.

We amplify the voices of survivors, who are experiencing increased stress and anxiety as a result of the protests.

We amplify the voices of Indigenous people, who have called the actions taking place on their territory “unacceptable.”

We amplify the voices of Indigenous women, who have condemned the “constant disrespectful, contemptuous, ridiculing behaviours that denigrate Indigenous peoples, land, cultures and practices.”

We amplify the voices of racialized people, who have called the protests, “an opportunity for White supremacists and others with extreme and disturbing views to parade their odious views in public.”

We amplify the voices of people with disabilities, who have been incredibly affected by the constant noise and inaccessibility created by the convoy.

We amplify the voices of local shelters serving women experiencing homelessness and those fleeing violence, who have described how their clients are afraid to go outside and have even admitted themselves into hospital due to the increased trauma.

We stand in strong solidarity with women and BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities – and the shelters and transition houses that serve them across the country. Legitimate dialogue and dissent within our democracy is welcome; terror and violence is not.

Signed,

Women’s Shelters Canada
Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters
L’Alliance des maisons d’hébergement de 2e étape pour femmes et enfants victimes de violence conjugale
BC Society of Transition Houses
Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes
Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters
New Brunswick South Central Transition House and Second Stage Coalition, Inc.
Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses
PEI Family Violence Prevention Services Inc.
Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan
Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale
Transition House Association of Nova Scotia
Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society

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