During the weekend of Jan. 21, 2017, Charlotte and 673 other cities around the world held Women’s Marches in opposition to the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump. Being an active participant in community events, I attended the march with excitement with three good friends. From political rallies to different activism events, you can find me there, so it was no surprise that I stood amongst the crowd bright and early Saturday morning. The Women’s Marches were organized as a protest of President Trump’s racial and sexist slurs as well as a fight for rights we – people who identify as ‘woman’ – have either not earned yet or have had taken away. In 2017, women still don’t have the same rights and privileges men do and with the election of our highly controversial president, people decided it was time to raise their voices to the issues at hand.
Arriving at around 9:30 a.m., a humungous crowd had already grown around the UNC Charlotte’s Uptown Academic Building. It was riveting to see all the people in one area wearing pink shirts and hats and holding signs. The sea of signs was enough to move someone to tears at the sheer pride in community. The actual marching started at approximately 10:00 a.m. and was accompanied by chanting, music and a sense of warmth despite the chilly temperatures. There were photographers and onlookers on the sidewalks, some encouraging and some against what was happening. There were vulgar signs and desperate signs. My sign said: “Keep your TINY HANDS off our rights.” Some were funny, some were serious, but all were brilliant. People held hands and smiled at one another; everyone was there for each other, themselves and the experience.
To march in the largest political demonstration is an experience one can never forget. The atmosphere of the crowd was unforgettable and what we marched for is important beyond measure. Because of this march, issues faced by women everywhere were broadcasted at the highest volume. Since then, there has been unconditional support paired with extreme backlash. There are some who disagree and they’re not afraid to tell you, but that didn’t take away what we were aiming to accomplish. People who criticize political marches seem to forget how women attained anything important in the past, especially the 19 Amendment. On a larger scale, America was founded on a revolt, so it’s in our American blood to revolt against authority when basic civil rights are denied or at stake.
These acts of protest have a powerful impact on governments all over the world, especially America. Throughout time people have marched for their rights and raised awareness against the unfair parts of society. We have made so much progress since then yet still have a long way to go, but the Women’s Marches have created a newfound hope in people who were giving up. If we don’t demand, we will never receive, so to stand up for your rights and the rights of others is important in order to maintain a peaceful unity between Americans. If it means to stand in the cold on an early Saturday morning, at least know it’s benefiting not only you, but everyone standing around you.