Salem Women’s March 2019
Starting in January 2017 after President Trump was elected, the Women’s March “exists to fight bigotry and discrimination in all their forms,”, according to their website. The march originally was organized by Linda Sarsour, a political activist and former executive director of the Arab Association Association of New York from Brooklyn who took part in other movements such as the Day Without A Women strike and protest, Muslims for Ferguson. Since the original Women’s March, many other cities have held their own.
“The women’s march is a march for feminism. What this means is that it is a march for social equality and representation.” said Angelique Prater ‘19.
Downtown at the Capitol, the third Women’s March took place on January 19 from 11AM to 3PM. Many returning protesters and new faces attended.
“This was my first time going to a women’s march and it was just an amazing experience. Even if there were protesters that disagree with abortion, the LGBTQ+ community, and essentially anything they believe went against the Bible, I still felt a sense of unity within the community of both males and females fighting against the injustices women face such as in health care, basic needs, economically, having to work harder than males in order to get the same benefits, not being accepted as a transgender woman etc…” said Diana Castaneda ‘19.
“Honestly all the speakers had said something that connected to me and empowered me as a woman but the songs were the ones that touched my soul I could see the emotions being transmitted to other it was just amazing.” said Castaneda.
Recently there was controversy over the Women’s March’s potential anti-semitic attitudes and ties. However, at Salem’s Women’s March, it was clear that was not the case.
“While there are national organizers who do have this belief, each local organizer has a separate one. All of the marches are not intertwined with one another, and it is important to fight for equality when presented with the opportunity. The Salem women’s march is not anti-Semitic.”
Attenders of the march agreed that Salem’s march differed from it’s national predecessor.
“They referenced this many times, and they care about the oppression towards the Jewish communities.” said Prater.
Although there was no anti-semitic views being promoted at the march, there were others who had different views altogether from what the Women’s March stood for.
“From what I saw that day I can say that most people were respectful of others views; however, there was some hostility coming from both the individuals attending apart of the march and from the counter protesters. The counter protesters were interrupting the speech’s and not respecting other’s views I feel like it’s fine for them to voice their opinions but there’s a time and place for that. What some individuals in the march did that was not respecting the counter protesters was touching the speakers getting in their face. As I saw this happen I felt like both parties could have acted more professionally. Since there wasn’t many counter protesters most of them were disrespectful and only a handful of protesters were being disrespectful to the counter protesters.” said Castaneda.
One of the highlights of the event from the protesters were the speeches made. There were numerous people who were able to get their voice heard that day which left a strong impact on many.
“There was a speech from a transgender woman, I forgot her name, but it was essentially about how far politics have come in regards to women’s rights. She discussed how feminism has affected her, and how our work is truly affecting community members everywhere. It was inspiring to see the product of your work.” said Prater.
While there was speeches, there also were local guest singers—which too inspired the crowd.
Marching began at 1:15PM. “I stayed for the whole event and marched for about half an hour then danced with my fellow females and supporters that was really fun.” Said Castaneda.