FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Community Solidarity Ottawa (CSO), a coalition of local labour unions, community organizations and residents, is set to join 2SLGBTQIA+ allies nationwide in a protest against the ‘1 Million March 4 Children’ on September 20th in Ottawa at 9:00 am in front of the Supreme Court of Canada.
The ‘1 Million March 4 Children’ aims to eliminate trans-inclusive curriculums and policies from public schools in the name of “parental rights.” However, this emphasis on “parental rights” is merely a pretext for anti-2SLGBTQIA+, far-right, and fascist ideologies.
Kamel El-Cheikh, founder of the ‘1 Million March 4 Children’ and spokesperson of “Hands Off Our Kids”, has expressed explicit anti-LGBTQ+, anti-semitic, and anti-Hindu views. El-Cheikh is the primary organizer for the Ottawa-based hate march, promoting it as “a movement for straight families” and a “straight tide.”
Prominent far right figures have come out to endorse the hate march, such as anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate group “Save Canada”, People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, anti-trans activist Chris Elston, and various individuals from far-right and COVID conspiracy networks which were activated during the so-called “Freedom Convoy” and have since pivoted to anti-trans activism.
This march is part of a growing trend of public anti-2SLGBTQIA+ mobilizations. Many of the same people behind this “1 Million March 4 Children” protest in Ottawa attempted to shut down drag storytime events at the National Arts Centre in February and June 2023, and attempted to hold anti-trans hate rallies in front of three Westboro schools on June 9th, where they were met with strong opposition from community members.
In solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, CSO as well as allies from the Ottawa District Labour Council, Capital Pride, Horizon Ottawa, and other unions and community groups will rally in front of the Supreme Court of Canada to demonstrate Ottawa’s unwavering support and opposition to a thinly veiled agenda of homophobia and transphobia concealed behind the rhetoric of “parental rights”
The urgency of this counter-protest is underscored by recent policy changes targeting trans youth in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, along with recent comments from Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Steven Lecce which have raised concerns of the potential spread of similar policies in Ontario.
“This isn’t a march for children. It’s a march against safe schools, fuelled by conspiracy theories, misinformation and anti-queer sentiment.” said Fae Johnstone, Ottawa queer advocate and president of the Society of Queer Momentum, “All students deserve safe classrooms and inclusive environments. Together, we can create better and more inclusive schools for everyone.”
CSO calls upon local activists to prepare for counter-protests by joining forces with community partners and unions to ensure safety and unity in all cities and towns targeted by far-right anti-2SLGBTQIA+ organizing.
For additional background information on the ‘1 Million March 4 Children’ and the organizers behind it, please visit the following resources:
For additional information on the counter-protest, please see this announcement:
For media inquiries contact [email protected]