Police will ‘ensure’ March 4 Children protest peaceful, says Town of Oakville

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Published September 20, 2023 at 10:41 am

The Town of Oakville said they fully support the 2S&LGBTQ+ community in response to a planned rally Wednesday at Town Hall billed as the 1 Million March 4 Children. TOWN OF OAKVILLE

The Town of Oakville says it is prepared for any unruly behaviour at today’s (Sept. 20) rally Billed as the 1 Million March 4 Children.

Organizers of the march, who say they are against what they believe is 2S&LGBTQ+ indoctrination and sexualization in the classroom, planned to march on the Halton District School Board (HDSB) offices in Burlington as well as rally at Oakville’s Town Hall.

“We are aware of a protest planned for this morning at Town Hall,” the Town said in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “Police will monitor the situation and help ensure the protest is peaceful and follow all laws.”

The planned Burlington and Oakville demonstration is part of a national protest called for Wednesday. Organizers say they are “advocating for the elimination of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) curriculum, pronouns, gender ideology and mixed bathrooms in schools.”

Organizers of the march are encouraging students to take the day off from school and attend.

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network has condemned the protest saying participants are being fueled by far-right organizations and anti-public education activists, among others. They are encouraging local activists to stage counterdemonstrations.

Both Oakville and Burlington, as well as the HDSB, released statements saying they fully support the 2S&LGBTQ+ community.

“Oakville is a community for all,” said the Town in a post on X. “We support inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility in all our programs and services and strive for a society where we are all treated with respect and dignity.”

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward echoed the embrace of the 2S&LGBTQ+ community.

“The City of Burlington is a welcoming and inclusive community that embraces and celebrates diversity among all our residents,” said the statement by Meed Ward. “As we celebrate (Burlington’s) 150+ anniversary this year, we’re reminded of the words on our city’s crest ‘Stand By’ – it means we, as a community, stand by each other, stand by to support one another, and stand by for action to help each other in times of need.

“Today, I share with our local 2S&LGBTQ+ community: know your mayor and council stand with your in support.”

The Burlington mayor is also encouraging residents to take some time to visit one of the city’s many rainbow crosswalks and benches and snap a photo of themselves there and share it online as a way to show their support of their 2S&LGBTQ+ neighbours, friends and loved ones.

In a statement released Tuesday evening, the HDSB said it is aware of the planned protest and will protect the rights of all students and staff.

“We remain committed to ensuring our schools and workplaces are inclusive and welcoming spaces that support the success and well-being of all students and staff, and that we are preparing students for continued success as citizens of diverse communities, both locally and globally,” said the statement. “We believe open dialogue is an integral part of learning and we continue our work to provide learning and working environments free from discrimination for students, families, staff, and members of the public.

  • with files from Steve Pecar
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