Farrah Khan, the coordinator of Ryerson’s Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education, was the first speaker at the anti Trump rally in that took place in Toronto on January 21, 2017.
The rally was supported by, The Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 343, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, The Ontario Federation of Labour, The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), The Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP), United Steelworkers and UNIFOR.
A proud queer Muslim, Farrah Khan said that the hatred towards Muslims and indigenous people is not surprising because that’s is how Canada was built. She accused the police of sexual brutality suggesting that Canada today in not a safe place for women. “When we say we believe survivors, we believe all survivors (of alleged sexual assaults)”, Farrah Khan stressed.
The following is the transcript of Farrah Khan’s speech:
This is a beautiful site. We are beautiful. I’m having so many feminist feels right now and it’s beautiful to be in a moment where we are saying that violence is not OK. Now we will rise against hate, that we will say that is not OK to survey, to harass, to violate anyone.
I want to thank our godmothers and our elders who have created pathways for us to believe that change is possible.
You have been fighting for years, for decades, to ask the question that we deserve. The question is: We deserve justice.
And I want us to have a world in which it is safe for my trans sisters to walk down the street and not to be harassed. I want a world in which anti black racism and police brutality is not an everyday occurrence.
And I want a world in which we believe survivors. And I want you to know that I won’t stop fighting, and I want you to fight with me too.
When we are scared about Trump, yes, his election is horrifying, but we have lived through a decade of violence from a Conservative government, where Muslims were harassed, were surveyed, where we were deported. It is shameful.
This kind of hatred towards Muslims is not new. This kind of hatred towards our indigenous community members is not new. This is how this country was built.
I want you to start thinking about how we can create change and as a Muslim as a queer woman, I am proud of being both, and I’m not going to stop saying that.
Given the unprecedented conversation in this country about sexual violence we say clearly the sexual violence is not OK. Yet it continues to happen. In this country, 460,000 people are affected by sexual assault every year. Shame. And this country, every 6 to 7 days women are killed by an ex or their current partner. Shame. In this country, we have over 1,200 missing and murdered indigenous women. Shame.
The country we want is built on love and care, not on hate. I ask you, when we say we believe survivors, we believe all survivors.
We believe sex workers when they say they are not safe under our current laws. We say no. We say we believe them.
When we say we believe survivors, we believe black women when they say they are not safe and we need to challenge police brutality.
When we say we believe survivors we believe indigenous women. We believe indigenous women at Val-d’Or, Quebec who have said 37 accounts of police violence against them. Shame.
And we know in Ontario alone, the second highest complaint against police is sexual assault. Shame.
When we say we believe survivors, we believe ourselves. We believe each other when we say to each other I was sexually assaulted. My partner hit me. It is not OK and we deserve a safe world for all. We say we believe survivors, we believe ourselves.
I want you to do something for me. I want you to turn to the person beside you and say: thank you, I will rise with you.
I want you to remind yourselves that this march is not the beginning. We have been fighting, many of our communities, since time and we have to continue to rise together. If this is your first march welcome. If this is your 15th, as I saw a sign today thank you for continuing this fight. As we live today, as we march on, we resist together and this fight is about all of us, we leave no one behind.
Canada’s top Imam explains Quranic verse on wife beating (click HERE)
Books condoning wife beating, stoning handed out in two locations in Toronto (click HERE)
Sandra Solomon protests against dissemination of “misogynistic” literature (click HERE)
NDP Anti-Trump protest in Toronto: “Love Trump Hate” – photo gallery (click HERE)
Feminists helped attacker of female journalist flee the scene: The Rebel (click HERE)
CBC columnist tweets about “pissing on the walls of Trump Tower hotel” (click HERE)