One Billion Rising 4 Justice coming to St. John’s

NDP Justice and Status of Women critic Gerry Rogers

NDP Critic for Justice and the Status of Women Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says she “can’t wait” for Thursday to come. That’s when the One Billion Rising events in St. John’s begin, building on last year’s successful event.

“One Billion Rising - St. John’s is a beautiful, energetic example of everything great in our community,” Rogers said today. “Last year, more than 1000 women, men and children came together to demand an end to gender-based violence.”

One Billion Rising For Justice is an international celebration, started last year by writer Eve Ensler. She estimates each year one billion women are victims of violence, and calls for one billion people globally to rise up to raise awareness to end violence against women.

“The response here in St. John’s last year was phenomenal,” Rogers said. “We celebrated all the incredible work that is being done here in this province to end violence against women, and all the incredible people who do it.”

Thursday from 2:30 to 8 p.m., musicians, dancers and more than 40 exhibitors will gather at the Knights of Columbus Hall event. Many offer anti-violence information; others are vendors of art, crafts, and food. “It's open to all, wheelchair accessible, interpreted for the hearing impaired and absolutely free admission to all,” says Rogers. “This is community at its best!”

On Valentine's Day, Friday at noon, people are invited to a demonstration in front of Atlantic Place on Water St., former home of the Family Violence Intervention Court, which was cut in last year’s provincial budget. “We are calling on Premier Tom Marshall to reinstate the Family Violence Intervention Court,” Rogers says.

The MHA has been working with labour, student and community groups to put the two-day event together. “I cannot say enough about how proud I am to be working with all these groups for one common cause,” Rogers said today. "Together we will educate, celebrate and agitate!"

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