‘This isn’t a new problem’: Survivors, allies host #MeToo rally in Vancouver

More than a hundred gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to share stories of sexual harassment, assault

From the viral #MeToo hashtag online to the streets of Vancouver, more than a hundred gathered outside the Vancouver Art Gallery Saturday to shed light on issues of sexual harassment and assault.

The MeToo rally, organized by March on Vancouver, was hosted in unity with other events happening throughout North America, including in Los Angeles and Toronto. On Oct. 30, thousands took to the streets of France for rallies looking to raise awareness and end sexual violence.

“Many of us gathered here today are the survivors,” Judi Lewison of Black Voices Vancouver told the Vancouver crowd. “Ours is the heartbreaking tapestry of sexual harassment and other violations far too horrific to politely recall.”

Saturday’s rally brought the growing online movement to the steps of the art gallery, as local activists and sexual assault survivors shared their stories.

“We are one, gathered here to say: me too,” Lewison said, adding that harassment and assault is not just a Hollywood issue, and one that does not discriminate.

The rallies stem from the recent #MeToo hashtag campaign started by actress Alyssa Milano in the wake up sexual harassment and assault allegations to Harvey Weinstein.

Milano asked social media users to write “me too” on Twitter and Facebook if they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

One day after Milano made the suggestion on Twitter, Facebook said in a statement that 45 per cent of Americans had friends that posted “me too.”


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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