Politics

Commentary: We Came. We Saw. We Marched.

History Was Made at the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

By Lucia Rossi

It’s one thing to say you support the women’s march, but actually being there was entirely different.

The turnout for the Women’s March on Washington was much higher than political observers expected. The impact of the day made headlines across the globe with its total of 673 marches worldwide.

On January 21, a day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, women and men rallied for women’s rights and advocated for a slew of other causes, including: LGBTQ rights, immigration and healthcare reform, climate change, racial equality, religious rights and worker’s rights.

The Women’s March wasn’t prepared for the amount of people that attended. While 250,000 people were expected, well over one million people came to march in Washington, D.C.

The march was peaceful with hardly any conflicts with police officers. It was reported that there weren’t any arrests not only in Washington, D.C., but also in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle.

The grassroots effort was managed by four national co-chairs: Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Vanessa Wruble, along with other honorary co-chairs–who formed the event’s coordinating committee.

Although over 400 organizations were listed as partners for the march, Planned Parenthood took center stage in voicing the negative consequences if there’s a cut in their federal funding. The cut will deny many women access to reproductive health care, abortion rights and other Planned Parenthood services.  

There were many, memorable speakers who discussed the rights they believe in. America Ferrera, Scarlett Johansson, Angela Davis, Michael Moore, Ashley Judd and a moving performance by Alicia Keys, to name a few.

One speaker, who stood out above the rest, was an inspiring, six-year-old activist, Sophie Cruz, who said, “Let us fight with love, faith, and courage so that our families will not be destroyed.” She ended her speech saying, “I also want to tell the children not to be afraid, because we are not alone. There are still many people that have their hearts filled with love. Let’s keep together and fight for the rights. God is with us.”

Pictures from the Women’s March will show many women wearing similar knit, cat-like hats. These pink hats were created as a nationwide effort by Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman of Los Angeles, to wear at the march as a visual sign of unity among protesters.

The design, created by the Pussyhat Project, was originally a positive protest tool against Trump’s inauguration to reclaim a derogatory term used by Trump in 2005, but ended up meaning much more at the march. These hats were compared to the “Make America Great Again” hats in the way that they presented a simple, unifying and antagonistic message.  

Although the Women’s March on Washington is over, the fight isn’t. The Women’s March promotional website is now advising that everyone join their “10 Actions for the First 100 Days” campaign. The aim of this is to take action on issues you care about every ten days.

“Now is not the time to hang up our marching shoes – It’s time to get our friends, family and community together and make history,” says the campaign description on the Women’s March website.  

The first action is to send a postcard to your local senator about your political concerns. The second action is to have a “huddle” with your local community, family and friends to define the next steps in taking local and national action.

According to their website, over 4,700 huddles have been created, worldwide, so far.

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