Breastfeeding Rights Rally in Newmarket, ON
Mother was asked to breastfeed in the change room
Violation of Human Rights
I was breastfeeding my daughter on the steps of the swimming pool when Ms. Ellie Karkouti, the owner of the facility, came to speak with me. Ms. Karkouti said they had one complain and that I could not breastfeed my daughter in the swimming pool. She said if I wanted to breastfeed I would have use the changeroom. I tried to say that based on the law I had the right to breastfeed in public places but Ms. Karkouti said that she was the owner and I could only breastfeed in the changeroom. After that I stopped breastfeeding. Ms. Ellie Karkouti left. I stayed in the swimming pool.
It was the first time I have suffered discrimination in my life! I wanted to cry so bad. I tried to pretend this has never happened. My daughter kept asking to nurse and I denied her while we were in the pool. My heart was broken. I did not know what to do. I was completely sad, lost and numb.
Only after a few hours, I believe I started to think clearly again.
I informed the group of families registered for this swim time at The Aquacentre about the terrible episode. The leader of this activity, Carol-Anne Brockington, sent an email to The Aquacentre asking for an apology. Their feedback was "At no point did we discriminate against the act of breastfeeding." They did not offer any apology.
After several emails of support from mothers ready to fight for the right to breastfeed, we have decided to organize a Breastfeeding Rights Rally, a peaceful nurse-in for Friday, November 7th in The Aquacentre at 2:30pm.
Please inform as many people as you can about this discrimination episode and the nurse-in. Feel free to use this email. Also, everybody is welcome to the peaceful nurse-in, you do not have to breastfeed to participate! All support is welcome! If you are unable to attend the nurse-in personally please feel free to email, phone or fax the facility to voice your concerns over this incident and show your support of breastfeeding rights – anywhere, anytime!
Unfortunately, the Aquacentre in Newmarket is a private facility that charges to use the pool. For this reason, to be able to participate in the Breastfeeding Rights Rally it is required that you pay the fee of $5.25 per swimmer. I wish it was not necessary to pay but the law requests it. We also welcome supporters that would like to be outside with signs. Please bring your own sign! Supporters that will be outside do not need to pay any fee.
If you are interested then please email Carol-Anne Brockington off list ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not get a reply within 24 hours then please send another. Please do not contact the facility.