When The Crusader speaks, the world listens

The Crusader

People of all backgrounds come together to fight for women’s rights in New York City

Hailey Maylath, Contributing Writer

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Monroe-Woodbury journalism student Hailey Maylath attended the Women’s March on New York City on January 21.

“I’m absolutely speechless, I’ve never seen anything like this before. History is being made here,” said Claire McAdams, who attended the Women’s march in New York City on January 21, 2017.

An estimated 400, 000 people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and genders gathered in the streets of New York the day after Trump’s inauguration and stood up for social justice, human rights issues and representation in government.

“The point is to provide a safe and accepting platform for supporters of equality to rally and march in promotion of civil rights for every human regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, religion or creed,” said the organizer’s website.

The NYC march was a sister demonstration to the original march in Washington, D.C. When the Washington march idea was organized, 30 other cities around the U.S. and the world set up women’s marches on the same day with the same mission.

The idea of the march is credited to Teresa Shook, a retired attorney. On the night of the presidential election she made a post about her idea of a protest on Facebook and it erupted with support. Soon after the marches popped up everywhere.

A great deal of people think the march was an anti-Trump protest, but organizers of the march have continuously said the aim of their march wasn’t about protesting Trump. Yet many signs criticizing him may have proved otherwise. “Dump Trump” was a popular slogan amongst signs, another stated “Not this feminist’s president,” and there were many signs about his largely criticized comment referring to grabbing women.

“I believe the march was influenced by events prior to the inauguration and his presidency. His misogynistic views of women was a main reason certainly,” said Ronnie DuPont, a resident of  New York going to work that day and witnessing the protests. His girlfriend and daughter attended the march that afternoon while he was at work watching the march on the news.

“I’m proud they were a part of history and chose to act instead of standing silently,” said DuPont.

Although the rally may have been a reaction to Donald Trump’s election the most common signs were for women’s rights. Pink hats and shirts littered the streets, “I’m with her” signs, and gender symbols all over their bodies. The bottom line was women.

“Certain groups don’t understand why we’re here, it’s being looked at as a cause that’s not important. It’s about women’s rights: I’m here for Planned Parenthood and Roe vs. Wade controversy, not Trump specifically,” said McAdams.


A large number of demonstrators also represented other issues like Planned Parenthood, ACT (AIDS), LGBT+ rights, immigration, climate change, etc. 

Chants for all of these issues vibrated the city streets. Blocks of men began chanting “her body her choice” and women responded with “my body my choice.” Other chants went like “Hey Ho! Hey Ho! Donald Trump has got to go!”

Protesters stood on top of traffic signs shouting these chants while shaking signs up and down. Residents of the city hung outside of their windows watching or participating in the chants. One resident flew an American flag out his fourth story window the entire time.

Ages of marchers ranged from babies in strollers to 80-year-old men with canes. A group of 10-year-olds walked with signs bigger than their bodies saying “MY MAMA HER RIGHTS” in big red letters. Their smiling mother kept them close while intertwining hands with her husband, who wore a hot pink knitted hat identical to his wife’s.

“The best thing I think I’ll take away from this is the diversity of this event. There are gay men, lesbians, gay men with AIDS, husbands, children, grandparents, and they’re all here for women’s rights. That makes this all the more empowering,” said Shawanda Williams, a volunteer at the march directing the crowd and giving out information.

Laura Wunder, a 6-year-old girl in all pink sitting on her father’s shoulders, held a sign high over her head reading “Love is Love” with rainbow hearts decorating it. Although shy at first, the little girl revealed her dads helped her make the sign.

From the beginning to end, the streets were full of people protesting shoulder to shoulder. Despite everyone standing in the same spot back to back with strangers all day, the march remained peaceful.

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When The Crusader speaks, the world listens
People of all backgrounds come together to fight for women’s rights in New York City