On Saturday, January 20, 2018, women and men around the country took over the streets with handmade pink pussy hats on their heads and protest signs in their hands. This year’s march marked a year since one million people rallied for justice after Donald Trump’s inauguration, and these determined and passionate individuals are back and better than ever. The second annual women’s march took place in Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and New York City. With endless news footage, professional photography, social media trends, and positive publicity, the orchestrators of the Women’s March Organization have brought attention to something that is eye-opening and important.
The women’s march in New York City began at 11:30 a.m. and traveled downtown from 86th Street and Columbus Circle along Central Park West. After emerging from the Columbus Circle train station and touching the light of that beautiful, sunny Saturday, people in pink could be seen scattered on the streets and sidewalks. Pins reading phrases such as “Resist”, “Nevertheless She Persisted”, “Nasty Woman”, “March To The Polls”, and “Pussy Power” were being sold along the walk to Central Park, and signs were being passed down rows of people, going from one hand to the next. The walking space grew narrower and narrower as feminists from all over the state grouped together, leading the masses to the march for equality. Although the path was closely-packed, it was not chaotic or uncomfortable. There was a sense of spirit and sisterhood emanating from the crowd as they made their way to the starting lines.
After finally reaching the police barricades and pathways, the protesters were held back from joining the march starting points for a substantial amount of time. It might have taken some squeezing through tight spaces and jumping over railings, but everyone was eventually able to run into the stream of people progressing down the city blocks. As each barricade was opened, there was an uproar of cheering and happy cries. People with speakers played upbeat music as those of all ages held up signs, clapped, and chanted.
In the middle of the treading stream of protesters, one could look up at the hundreds of posters surrounding their head and realize that they were marching alongside people rallying for justice, equality, and basic human rights. Thanks to the march and the activeness of New Yorkers supporting the Women’s March Organization, marchers were able to share their political and personal views while being creative and uplifting. The signs and cardboard structures shooting up into the city sky were all original and beautiful, each one covering an important viewpoint or position on the current state of our government and/or the everlasting equal rights movement. There were posters covering the ideas of women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and the Black Lives Matter movement. There were signs supporting planned parenthood, supporting immigration and the acceptance of refugees. Posters against the normalization of rape culture and the current presidency could be seen from blocks away. Giant structures and pieces of art mocking Trump’s controversial presidency caught the eyes of people peering out from their apartment windows and grabbed the attention of anyone documenting or photographing the event. Mothers and fathers brought children, allowing the next generation- the future of America- to visualize the reality of the current political situation and to expose them to the uniqueness and diversity that makes this country what it is.
Although the march was fueled by frustration with and anger toward the country’s current state, the merging of those with similar viewpoints and ideas was something filled with optimism. The people at the march were enlightened and unflinching, seeing the faults in the country’s government and being unafraid to speak up against it. The second annual women’s march was one of the many uprisings that will mold the future of our government as well as the next generation. With marching, chanting, singing, music, and fearlessness, the participants of this year’s march of freedom showed the world that this is what democracy looks like.