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Women’s March Fort Myers to hold virtual rally

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Jan 20, 2021

news@breezenewspapers.com

For the first time, Women’s March Fort Myers will have a virtual rally featuring speakers and local musicians for the theme “Our Path Forward: A Rally for Unity, Equality and Humanity.”

The free Virtual Rally will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 23. Those interested in attending must register by Jan. 22 at https://bit.ly/2XKdoN4. Once registered, the participants will receive a Zoom link for the Jan. 23 event.

Women’s March Fort Myers Treasurer and Board Member Debbie Canyock said they decided to hold a virtual rally for several reasons this year. The first was the concern of the increase in COVID-19 cases.

“We were working on getting the street blocked off to provide for more social distancing and that was going to cost us some money to do that. When the events on Jan. 6 happened and the subsequent concerns about safety, particularly in downtown areas — Fort Myers isn’t a capital, but it is a downtown area — that kind of added to the concerns that we had about the safety and security of our participants. That led us to the virtual event,” she said. “We didn’t want to appear we were backing down at all. We felt that it was the best decision at this point.”

The rally will be a Zoom event, which Canyock believes they will be able to stream live on Facebook. If for some reason the Facebook live cannot be done,  they will record it and make it available through their YouTube channel, which then also can be viewed on Facebook.

The January rally is one for unity, as it was originally intended as a celebration for President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory and his agenda and holding him accountable for that agenda, as well as for local politicians. Canyock said they are basically an issues-based organization for matters they feel strongly about.

The rally will include such topics as implementing the $15 minimum wage, healthcare access for all, racial justice, passage of equal rights amendments, affordable housing and child care, as well as protecting water and the environment.

The speakers for the event include:

• Women’s March Fort Myers Board member and Collier County Democratic Party Chair Annisa Karim

• Women’s March Fort Myers Board Member Connie Bennett Martin

• A founding member of the Peaceful Protest of Lee County Movement Chantel Rhodes

• Former Fort Myers mayoral candidate Jacquelyn Miller

“The speakers will be speaking to many of those issues,” she said. “We are planning on having a panel discussion after the presenters discussing the events that happened on Jan. 6 and what that means going forward. We also have some music in-between the speakers, a couple local musicians that are participating.”

Although this is the first online event the nonprofit is holding, they hope to continue with this platform moving forward to bring people together to discuss topics. With that said, they still hope to have in-person events in the future .

For more information about Women’s March Fort Myers, visit www.womensmarchfortmyers.org, or www.facebook.com/WomensMarchFtMyers/.