by ALEX PEREZ//Feature Editor
Women are the definition of strong and need to be recognized as such.
A crowd of women, men, children and even dogs came together as advocates for women’s and LGBTQIA rights gathered near the intersection of 19th Street and University Avenue in Lubbock on Jan. 21 for a Women’s March.
A day after the inauguration of the United States President Donald Trump, women all over the country came together as one to protest the percieved shameful things he had stated during his career, as well as during his campaign for office.
A sea of pink crowded Washington, D.C., right where President Trump took his oath of office the day before. According to the New York Times, there were 470,000 people in attendance at the flagship march in Washington, D.C., not to mention the hundreds of people in Lubbock and millions across the nation who banded together to form a protest against the new president.
Trump came under heavy criticism after a recording of his derogatory remarks about women, as well as allegations of women coming forward who claimed they had been sexually assaulted by Trump. These allegations sent the country into an outrage due to his inability to show respect for women and, according to some, how unqualified he is to be the president.
Women from all around the United States came together to march in various cities to rally against the way they have been treated.
The Women’s March began with various coordinators coming together at the state level to make it all happen. The four national co-chairs, along with a national coordinating committee, managed the information and created an outlet for women across the country to support their right to equality.
The march was promoted and made known on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by celebrities such as Zendaya, Demi Lovato and Lady Gaga.
The nationwide event had a great turnout with some 5 million people in attendance around the country. A multitude of speakers showed up and gave encouragement to thousands at the march in Washington. Speakers such as Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Amanda Nguyen, president and founder of Rise, as well as actresses Scarlett Johansson and America Ferrera, showed their support with encouraging speeches during the march.
In an interview during the Women’s March in Lubbock, Diana Ramon said, “Women are being denied their fundamental right to manage their lives and reproductive health.” She added that there are only six Planned Parenthood clinics in the state of Texas.
“You see minors that get raped, and there is so much red tape in the law that it makes it so difficult for them to afford to get to a clinic and get the care they need,” Ramon added.
After hearing of the Women’s March on Washington, women in other cities began to organize their own marches, including in Lubbock.
Women and men of Lubbock came out to show their support and displayed compelling signs with some reading “Our Bodies. Our Minds. Our Power.” The participants stood up for what they believed in, in order to try to make a change in the world.
Set up by the Timothy Cole statue across from the Texas Tech University campus, those participating in the march chanted and uplifted each other to help get the message to others through any means possible.
Sierra Burley, one of the participants in the march, told the Plainsman Press, “I think it’s just showing that we all stand in solidarity with each other. We’re not sure what’s going to happen. It’s kind of scary right now.”
Burley was among many in Lubbock, as well as others around the country, who showed just how much people are involved in the issues at hand, and how they want to get the information out to others who are unaware.
Despite the endless love and support from people passing by, there were others who did everything in their power to discourage the participants and the idea of the Women’s March.
Trump supporters passing by shouted at women’s rights activists and even made hand gestures toward women and children.
Some protesters took it upon themselves to take action and tore down Trump banners that were being held by the people who shouted sexist and rude comments at the march participants.
In a bout of outrage, one unknown man ran into a truck after the driver blew out black smog into the faces of the people gathered. During the incident, people were shouting for both parties to stop. After the incident, many people were upset because their intention is not to support violence against anybody, whether they disagree with them or not.
“It makes me feel sorry for them,” Burley said of the altercation.
Kimberly Correa also attended the march as a photographer and women’s rights activist.
“Nothing will ever get done if we sit around and do nothing about it,” Correa said of her experience at the march.”I also believe that being a part of a march makes people feel less alone.”
She also added, “When more people work and fight together, the bigger the audience we’ll reach to get our voices heard by those in power.”
The Women’s March in Lubbock, as well as those around the country, made history and gave equal rights advocates a chance to show up and make their voices heard. By chanting “My body, my choice” and “Love Trumps hate”, activists made their stance clear.
[Photos by TOVI OYERVIDEZ/PLAINSMAN PRESS]