Red braid pro-choice rally, scream choir, set for Tuesday on P.E.I.

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Rally poster.

Organizers asking participants to wear red braids, black bandanas of anonymous “iamkarats” artist

A coalition of pro-choice groups will rally for abortion access in P.E.I. Tuesday wearing red braids and black bandanas, mimicking a pro-choice poster campaign featuring a likeness of Anne of Green Gables.

The march, say organizers, is a response to the ongoing lack of access to in-province abortion care. P.E.I. women seeking abortion services are required to travel off-Island to Moncton or Halifax.

The march begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday on Kent Street between Upper Great George and Queen streets.

"To voice the mass disapproval of PEI’s lack of abortion services, and to challenge the reluctance of PEI’s patriarchal politicians on the issue of abortion access, we will be marching from the Liberal Party headquarters on Kent Street to the Gentleman’s Club on the corner of King and Great George," says a statement on the web page of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

"This Gentleman’s Club is a symbol of the patriarchal capitalist values of PEI’s political 'leaders,' and is also the place in which the real political decisions are made, away from the influence of both official policies and the masses," said the statement.

"At 5:00 pm everyone is also invited to The Guild, on the corner of Queen St and Richmond St, for the reception for International Women’s Day," said the statement.

“This rally is a creative response to a deeply troubling issue,” says Becka Viau, the group’s spokesperson.

“Public demonstrations historically use artistic expression to illuminate archaic, oppressive systems.”

The organizers are encouraging participants to wear the red braids and black bandanas of the anonymous “iamkarats” artist.

The “iamkarats” poster and social media campaign has garnered local and national media attention due the image’s resemblance to P.E.I.’s iconic redhead, Anne Shirley.

Aside from the dress code, organizers have some creative actions planned, including a scream choir, which is a protest performance art piece.

“The choir is made up of people who perform tonal primal screams, a symbol of the cathartic release of pent up rage against the policies that bring continued obstacles and suffering to women," says Russell Louder, a local artist who will be conducting the choir.

The rally is being held in recognition of International Women’s Day.

"This is one in a series of actions calling attention to the provincial government's policy of restricting access to abortion," says Josie Baker of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

"Access to on-Island abortion would be less expensive than paying for the service off-Island and does not require expertise or equipment that we do not already have. The policy violates women’s rights under the charter of Rights and Freedoms."

In January, the pro-choice group, Abortion Access Now P.E.I., launched a court action against the province, claiming the province has not met the standard for providing service to Island women for on-Island abortions.

Organizations: Liberal Party, Communist Party, The Guild Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada

Geographic location: P.E.I., Iceland, Green Gables Moncton Halifax Queen St

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Recent comments

  • Isabel Quinn
    March 09, 2016 - 16:26

    If it is murder to kill a 2 year old who is causing trouble why is it not murder to kill an innocent child who is growing in her mother's womb?

  • Who speaks for the unborn?
    March 08, 2016 - 15:46

    So sad to think that there are people who honestly believe they are fighting for "justice" by promoting the murder of innocent babies in the womb. How tragic! They call it a "reproductive right" to kill a child in the womb, and can't seem to see that the "right" to "reproduce" happened much earlier when they conceived the child.....If people don't want a child, they shouldn't conceive a child. Abortion has absolutely nothing to do with reproduction...if fact it is exactly the opposite of reproduction; it is the willful "destruction" of what was irresponsibly produced. Why can't pro-abortionists see the contradiction in their own language?

  • Outraed
    March 08, 2016 - 15:33

    Can these pro murder people not see the irony in besmirching the image of Anne Shirley? Had Henry Morgentaler been around to 'fix' Anne's mother's problem' there would be no stories of Anne's adventures. Yes..........., I know that Anne is fictional: however, the killing of the preborn is very real!! Shame on all of you!!

  • Dianne Fraser
    March 08, 2016 - 15:25

    PEI is a life sanctuary...let us keep it that way. I will never understand your desire to terminate the life of a precious unborn child. It may be your choice but it has never been my choice. I have the right to declare mine as well. Abortion is never a necessary choice and folks please spend your energy on life sustaining pursuits.

  • btr
    March 08, 2016 - 14:59

    Women's rights are important. However, when the rights of one person intentionally hurt another human being, even if not yet born, then those rights are ill founded. To say the pre-born is not human goes against science. Women need to be supported in all the difficult circumstances of life.

  • This is awesome
    March 08, 2016 - 12:43

    ohmygosh I can certainly understand the scream part, for it would completely represent all those innocent little babies who are silenced forever on this earth as they are torn from the very place that should protect them. Yes for women's rights. But the fight needs to goes further starting in the womb for no woman should be silenced, for any reason.

  • Ester
    March 08, 2016 - 12:35

    Several things to contemplate on this action. First of all, if a lawsuit has been launched, why then all the noise? Why not wait for the outcome, that should settle the matter once and for all. Secondly, why is a child figure like Anne of Green Gables being used in this fight? Why besmirch her image, she is unrelated to this, or will you people insinuate she was wanting an abortion? It is shameful, and although I agree with your objective, you have lost my respect. It seems that with the law on your side, other symbolisms should be unneeded. Taking the high road of the courts, it should be a class act, but all this is degrading the whole fight, the issue and you people conducting it.

  • primal scream
    March 07, 2016 - 22:07

    what. the. hell. there is also a primal (albeit silent) scream when the developing human is evacuated from the womb. Isn't a healthy respect for human life, in all its manifestations, a more worthy cause than this?

  • Heroes
    March 07, 2016 - 19:57

    Out of all the things a human could devote their time on earth towards, can't imagine this being it. On the deathbed it will be quite a thing to look back and see "this" as your cause.

    • Daniel Boudreau
      March 08, 2016 - 09:26

      On your deathbed it WILL be a great thing to look back and see that you have fought for woman's rights...Yes you are right...

    • to Daniel Beaudreau
      March 08, 2016 - 20:31

      what women's rights? There are no women's rights being trampled here. They have access to abortion. Period.