Triad NC Women’s March draws massive crowds to support rights and reform

womens-march_zachary-weaver

Zachary Weaver

Zachary Weaver
 News Editor

On Saturday, January 21 a Women’s March was held in Greensboro to oppose President Donald Trump and his conservative policies, corresponding to a larger movement throughout the United States and the world.

“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families,” the Triad NC Women’s March mission statement read, “recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

 

“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us,” the statement continued, “women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people who are differently abled, the economically impoverished, the mentally ill, and survivors of sexual assault.”

The Triad NC Women’s March in Greensboro gathered at Government Plaza before 10 a.m., then marched down February One Place by the Civil Rights Museum and South Elm Street, arriving at LeBauer Park.

The March’s Facebook page presented a list of issues, including women’s rights, public education, LGBT rights, religious freedom, raising minimum wage, racial equality, raising minimum wage, immigration reform, and voting rights. It also emphasized a focus on promoting causes or being ‘for’ something, rather than constant opposition.

Around 4,000 people are estimated to have attended the Triad NC Women’s March.

Demonstrators were commonly clad in pink cat-eared hats, a pointed reference to Trump’s infamous p*ssy-grabbing remarks as recorded in an ‘Access Hollywood’ video. Many carried signs supporting causes outlined in the March’s mission statement, with many containing cat puns, feminist quotes, or messages supporting specific causes.

At the park were speakers and local musicians, all supporting a message of women/minority rights, as well as a variety of policy reforms.

Demonstrators had personal reasons for marching: specific issues, a mixture, all of the ones in the mission statement, or simply in support of women/minorities.

“I think that it’s also time for people such as myself – who are white – to stand up for black Americans and for people we consider minorities,” Triad Health Project Executive Director Reidel Post said. “I’m a straight woman, and I think we should stand up for LGBTQ people.”

“After watching the inauguration yesterday, and hearing all the things Trump campaigned about, I thought it was time to stand up and make a change,” Malika Carey said.

“I came out to march today because I have a daughter, and I was not very happy with the way the president was speaking about women,” UNCG Professor Elizabeth Perrill said. “So I wanted to be a good role model for her, to show her that you don’t always have to accept authority unquestioningly, and think critically about your society.”

“I’m here to support women’s reproductive rights,” Greensboro native Tiffany Jones said. “Women’s right to choose, and a whole host of things. Police violence, human rights in general.”

Other protests under the Women’s March banner were held in cities across the nation and world, including Washington DC, Paris, New York City, Charlotte, London, Sydney, Berlin, Cape Town, and many others.    

Celebrities such as Nick Offerman, Chris Colfer, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Amy Poehler, Helen Mirren, Alec Baldwin, and Emma Watson, among others, turned out in various protests across the nation.

  

Over 4.8 million people worldwide are estimated to have participated in demonstrations, making the Women’s March the largest organized demonstration in history.

West Market Street United Methodist Church’s Reverend Pam Strader – a social justice and civil rights advocate in Greensboro – delivered an address at LeBauer Park. Her oration drew from prominent activists and biblical imagery, acting as a call to hope and activism.

“It is for such a time as this that you are here today,” Strader said in a call to activism. “It is such a time as this that you take the handkerchief of tears and make it your sweatband, and get busy working for justice.”



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