Tomkins Park was lit up with over 200 people holding candles as the annual Take Back the Night protest gripped Calgary’s 17th Street. Over 10,000 women and children checked into women’s shelters last year (not including those turned away), and the crowd turned up September 22nd, 2009 in solidarity against domestic violence. As the children ran along the back of the crowd, they didn’t know the gravity of the statistics being mentioned during the evening. Photos and more under the fold.
As several homeless meandered through the crowd, the violence of poverty and homelessness also rang clearly. One of the speakers described how her friend was murdered in an abusive relationship, as there was no official intervention until it was already too late. Alberta has one of the highest levels of domestic abuse, but is trying to improve its response to the situations.
There was quite a few men at the event, and “Men Against Men’s Violence” was giving out candles and coffee. Perhaps the most telling part of the evening was seeing a couple light their cigarettes with their candle. Even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, Calgary will take back the night in it’s own quirky way.