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Protest mobilized outside GCVI for women's rights

Students organized a protest about a court ruling of extreme self-induced intoxication as a criminal defence

About 50 students at Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute rallied outside the school on Friday afternoon.

Chants of “rape is rape” and “our body our choice” were heard down Paisley Street.

They were protesting the Canadian Supreme Court decision to allow extreme self-induced intoxication as a defense. 

One of the cases considered for this defence was a man from Calgary who violently attacked a woman while he was under the influence of alcohol and magic mushrooms.

Destiny Dietrich is a Grade 11 student at GCVI and she organized the protest.

The protest mobilized on social media app Snapchat and had other schools get involved to protest on their school grounds. Dietrich said John F. Ross  and College Heights also had protests.

“It’s time to actually stand up for ourselves for once,” said Dietrich. “I’d like to see more justice for rape victims because they do not get enough of it. There’s way too many people who get away with assault, rape, murder, everything and it needs to change.”

She said she was surprised how many people joined the protest thinking there would only be a few people.

Dietrich said the GCVI principal gave the students permission to protest and they were able to leave class to protest outside of the school at 11:00 a.m.

Members of the protest got emotional and tears were shed discussing the issues of sexual assault and abortion.

“Most of us out here cannot even drive and we’re out here protesting for the fact that someone else has the right to our bodies and it is wrong,” said Madison Howell, a Grade 10 student.

Other students said it’s like the start of the Handmaid’s Tale where women’s rights were taken away from them.

“What I’m hoping is that other women have the confidence to actually stand up to be like ‘this person did this to me. I went through this but I’m still here and I’m still strong fighting for it,'” said Dietrich.

Some of the students said they want to be taught about consent and for it to be implemented into their school curriculum. They also said they want a support system in the school instead of the default of going to speak to a guidance counsellor.

Students said they will protest again next week for the right to have an abortion.

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Santana Bellantoni

About the Author: Santana Bellantoni

Santana Bellantoni was born and raised in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. As a general assignment reporter for Guelph Today she is looking to discover the communities, citizens and quirks that make Guelph a vibrant city.
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