Take Back the Night! A community fair, rally and protest to raise awareness of the issues of violence against women and trans people and our fear of walking the streets at night. But TBTN is so much more than that; it is a meeting place for us survivors, it is a place of safety and support for survivors of all kinds of violence, it is a place of empowerment for us, even if only for one night.
As the woman in leadership of Take Back the Night Toronto, I have the honour and privilege to work with countless volunteers and community organizations to coordinate the event. This year, we had a planning committee of many individuals and community organizations who included the Parkdale Community Health Centre, North York Women’s Shelter, Streethealth, Women Abuse Prevention Council, Springtide Resources, the Anne Johnston Health Station, current and past crisis line counselors of the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape, Centre for Independent Living, and many, many more women!
The following is a visual essay of photos of the community fair and rally at the event. All photos were taken by Gelay Amdo.
Celebrating 32 years of protesting at the community fair. (Gelay Amdo)
Women highlight many issues at the community fair. (Gelay Amdo)
MCs Kim Crosby and Min Kaur rock the house with info about TBTN and violence against women, trans people and children, and introduce the speakers. (Gelay Amdo)
Everyone matters. (Gelay Amdo)
Shandra Spears Bombay opens the rally with song. (Gelay Amdo)
P.L., a survivor and community activist gets the crowd going. (Gelay Amdo)
Crowds enjoying the rally, with ASL interpretation by Wendy Kirk and Tala Jalili (not pictured). (Gelay Amdo)
N.S., survivor waiting for the Supreme court decision on wearing niqab during her sexual assault trial, speaks at the rally. (Gelay Amdo)
The Friendly Spike Theatre engages the crowd with their song, “The Walls are Alive with the Sounds of MAD people”, highlighting this year’s theme of the mental health system. (Gelay Amdo)
Truth Is…speaks her truth through spoken word poetry. (Gelay Amdo)
Julie Wood and the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA) engage the crowd with some myths and truths about the psychiatric system. (Gelay Amdo)
Morgan Page from the 519 Community Centre gets the crowd going with political rants about the mental health system and its affects of LGBQ and Trans people. (Gelay Amdo)
In the twilight of dusk, the Friendly Spike Theatre sing to marchers and protesters. (Gelay Amdo)
Student placements at the TRCC/MWAR make and display signs for the march. (Gelay Amdo)
Women with Disabilities Action Awareness Group (WDAAG) always lead the march at TBTN. (Gelay Amdo)