A group in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland has been holding protests 24 hours a day for several days calling for an end to sexual orientation and gender ideology (SOGI) resources in schools.
A teaching resource called SOGI 123 is used in schools to teach children about inclusivity and social and gender issues.
Videos of the Abbotsford protests have been circulating on social media, showing protesters holding signs that read “Stop SOGI 123” and “Our Kids Our Choice: Parents Have Rights.”
“We are dedicated to this cause, we are serious about it,” Kanwalijit Singh told The Epoch Times. He said they had been protesting the issue for several months.
The goal, Mr. Singh said, was to protest 24 hours a day for seven straight days.
“Every day it’s a few hundred people coming on and off, on and off,” he said. “A few people have been staying with me since day one. They’re like, ‘We’re not going to let you stay alone.’ We have two to three people every night.”
Mr. Singh said his goal was to stay until noon on Dec. 31 to raise awareness of what is going on with schools and what is being taught under SOGI 123.
“It just came to me that I need to because the children are being told to change their gender and all these pornographic books in their faces, and children being confused about whether they’re boys or girls,” he said. “We have many cases from parents letting us know what’s going on in schools.”
“I started to communicate with a school board and I was actually able to remove three books,” he said.
“We want to have discussions,” he added. “We want to have more discussions from the other side.”
He said they’ve had support from the community, but not from educators.
“We won’t stop until the school board will come and talk to us.”
Petition Against Education Minister
The protesters have put together a petition in an attempt to get rid of B.C’s education minister, Rachna Singh.
One of the organizers, Zanbka Malik, told The Epoch Times they were “trying very hard” to bring about change because of what is being taught in the schools, including SOGI.
She said they had been raising awareness about their concerns for months.
“In the next election, this will make a big uproar,” Ms. Malik said. “We are just keeping the issue alive. They are not listening.”
She said she spoke to Ms. Singh on the phone about the issue and was told by the education minister that it was a matter of equality and humanitarian concerns.
“They are running away,” she said.
A recall campaign against Ms. Singh was approved by Elections B.C. in November. Organizers have until Jan. 29, 2024, to get 40 percent of voters in her Surrey-Green Timbers riding to sign a petition to be successful.
The Epoch Times reached out to Ms. Singh but did not hear back by publication time.
Ms. Malik said that she was worried about how quickly freedoms are disappearing.
The Abbotsford protests follow similar displays across the country, including one on Sept. 20 called the 1 Million March for Children.
The event was in response to parents’ concerns over SOGI being used in schools. The organizers’ main website lists their goals as eliminating the SOGI curriculum, preferred pronouns, and mixed-gender bathrooms.
Counter-protesters said the rallies were an attack on the LGBT community. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP MPs Blake Desjarlais and Matthew Green joined the counter-protesters in Ottawa.