Borderers’ voices heard in women’s rights march

Former Southern Reporter columnist Susan Rae, originally from Hawick, was a speaker at the Women's Rights March in Edinburgh on Saturday, January 21.
Former Southern Reporter columnist Susan Rae, originally from Hawick, was a speaker at the Women's Rights March in Edinburgh on Saturday, January 21.

A Borders community councillor joined the thousands taking part in women’s rights rallies across the world as a protest against Donald Trump becoming US president.

Peebles community councillor and GP Lesley Morrison took part in a march in Edinburgh on Saturday.

Protesters gathered at the anti-Trump pro-womens rights rally in Edinburgh on Saturday, January 21.

Protesters gathered at the anti-Trump pro-womens rights rally in Edinburgh on Saturday, January 21.

It was one of more than 600 women’s rights rallies held worldwide on Mr Trump’s first full day in office.

Members of the public were joined by speakers and local politicians for what organisers described as pro-woman rather than solely anti-Trump demonstrtion.

Hawick’s Susan Rae, now a Green Party candidate for Edinburgh’s Leith Walk, spoke at the event, and the former Southern Reporter columnist quoted her elderly Hawick mum, saying: “We’ve got rid of tyrants before.”

Susan urged those present to “get active, join a political party, join together”.

Protesters gathered at the anti-Trump pro-womens rights rally in Edinburgh on Saturday, January 21.

Protesters gathered at the anti-Trump pro-womens rights rally in Edinburgh on Saturday, January 21.

Dr Morrison, 63, said: “It was fantastic to hear local voices partnered in an international event involving protests all over the world.

“People gathered in Edinburgh with a great selection of posters and banners.

“There were women, men, children and prams, everyone taking part.

“I think there is a sense of hope in this very bleak period regarding Trump’s presidency in a sense that people are going to become motivated and much more politically active.”

Protesters gathered at the anti-Trump pro-womens rights rally in Edinburgh on Saturday, January 21.

Protesters gathered at the anti-Trump pro-womens rights rally in Edinburgh on Saturday, January 21.

The march started outside the US consulate in Regent Street at 11am and lasted until 1pm.

Speakers also included Scottish Labour Campaign for Socialism’s Mike Cowley and Talat Yaqoob, co-founder of the campaign group Women 5050.

Dr Morrison added: “It was uplifting and inspirational.

“Women in the US and around the world are worried about whether and how President Trump will put his threatened attack on women’s rights into practice.

“The message from this and other marches was that an international movement will be mobilised against what he stands for.”

The event was organised through social media by Leah Higgins and Calum Stewart, both 16-year-old secondary school pupils in Glasgow. Addressing the gathering, Leah promised: “Our voices will be heard.”

It is believed that more than 100,000 protesters gathered in London and more than 500,000 attended a parent march in Washington DC.

Rallies were also held in cities across Europe including Amsterdam, Rome and Berlin.

President Donald Trump has received media attention for comments he has made about women. Already the 45th US president has banned financial aid to international groups who carry out or provide information about abortions.