'An awakening' for Canadians attending U.S. women's marches
Nick Wells, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, January 22, 2017 8:36PM EST
Canadian women who attended women's marches in the United States on Saturday say the events have left them feeling inspired.
Busloads of Canadians from Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and other cities crossed the border Friday and Saturday to attend the anti-Donald Trump marches, including a major one in Washington, D.C.
Sara Bingham, a Waterloo, Ont., resident, says attending the march in the U.S. capital served as "an awakening."
"I'm biracial so the very grounds that I was walking on, people had walked for me in the past," she told CTV Kitchener. "I had to go to honour them and honour the future."
It is estimated that more than a million people attended women’s marches in D.C. and around the world on Saturday. Solidarity marches were held in a number of Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.
But despite many Canadians' intentions of joining peaceful marches south of the border, some weren’t granted entry into the U.S.
Mandi Morgan, who lives in Montreal, tried to cross the border with an American friend but was turned away by U.S. border guards.
"[The border official] said, 'Well, attending a protest is not a good enough reason to be allowed into the United States of America,'" she said.
Morgan says despite being denied entry, border guards asked her for fingerprints and checked her criminal record.
"I was very upset and it felt very violating," she said. "I felt it wasn't their right to have my fingerprints because I did nothing wrong."
There were several other reports over the weekend of Canadians being turned away at the U.S. border once they declared their intentions to attend the women’s march.
However, an immigration lawyer told CTV News that it is a privilege, not a right, to enter the U.S. and it appears the officers exercised their discretion in this matter.
With a report from CTV Kitchener's Allison Tanner