The march that’s making history
An inside look on the Women's March of 2017.
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Women and men from all around the world gathered on January 21, 2017 to protest President Donald Trump’s resistance to women’s rights. The sea of pink left more than signs and songs: it left significance.
Packed full with women, men, and children chanting “Hey, Ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” as they marched, the Women’s March was well on it’s way. With over 400 marches around the world in 169 countries, the voices of the protesters refused to be silenced. Wilson High School senior in Washington D.C. and Free Spirit 2016 D.C. representative Ella Feldman was chosen as an ambassador for the Washington D.C. Women’s March.
“When I first heard about it, I immediately knew I wanted to get involved,” said Feldman. “So, I filled out a quick survey about volunteering and was but on the email list. After that, I just stayed in touch, and after some back-and-forth, I was told I could volunteer.”
Feldman describes the atmosphere at the D.C. march as “crowded.” This is no exaggeration, as an estimated 470,000 people attended the D.C. march, according to the New York Times. Boston also rang in around 175,000, however, only originally expected 25,000 participants.
“It was a sea of people in pink hats and holding signs,” said Feldman. “It was hard to move, but I didn’t mind, because the energy was optimistic. I saw people of all colors and genders, and ages and places. It was inspiring to see everyone come together and smile at each other, and march.”
At the event, many speakers attended such as Roslyn Brock, Chairman at the NAACP National Board of Directors, and Tamika Mallory, Co-Chair of Women’s March on Washington, and Social Justice Activist. However, Feldman felt that her favorite speaker was none other than Sophie Cruz, a young immigrant rights activist.
“She gave me so much hope for the future,” said Feldman. “The speakers were amazing. I got a good spot right in front of the Air and Space Museum, just a block away from the stage.”
The Women’s March first began to protest President Trump’s inauguration, as well as his offensive and condescending comments towards women.
“The Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots effort comprised of dozens of independent coordinators at the state level,” said the official page for the Women’s March. “The effort is helmed by four national co-chairs and a national coordinating committee who are working around the clock to pull it all together.”
English teacher Ms. Brinkman-Young also attended the march in Washington D.C. with her daughter, fighting back as a civil rights activist.
“I heard about it initially maybe a week after the election on a website, ‘Pantsuit Nation,’” said Brinkman-Young. “For myself, I just feel like I need to do something. The sexual assault bragging and the 2005 tape stuck me as really repugnant. Words matter, and his words appalled and appal me.”
In said tape, Trump is quoted as grabbing women in inappropriate places. Pink hats were spotted throughout the march as representation for this quote.
“I always wondered what my response should be in a situation in which I was not happy,” said Brinkman-Young. “In my work as a civil rights team person, almost all horrible hate crimes start with divisive, hurtful words. He had enough of them that I felt appalled, and there hasn’t been any indication that I can see that he has apologized in any meaningful way for any of those hurtful words.”
For Brinkman-Young, this march, as well as President Trump’s words and actions, hit home to her.
“I am a victim of sexual assault, back in the 80’s and 90’s, to the point that no one did anything. It was sort of like, ‘It’s your fault,’” said Brinkman-Young. “So, that sort of attitude I feel really repugnant, and dangerous, and wrong to 51% of the female population. So, the thought that our elected official could not understand the gravity of that and apologize really upset me.”
Brinkman-Young believes this march could change these words and actions, and hopefully influence the future for women in America. The Women’s March officiators believe this as well, but explicitly state that this is not the end.
“Thank you to the millions of people around the world who, on January 21, came together to raise our voices,” said the official page. “But, our march forward does not end here. Now is the time to get our friends, family and community together and MAKE HISTORY.”