With temperatures in the 30’s, enthusiastic demonstrators sloshed through slush and melted snow inches deep, chanting, “People. United. We’ll never be divided,” and “I’m here to fight. Because I have the right.”
It was billed as a Women’s March, but this was not a single issue demonstration. Women and men from young to old carried signs representing a vast array of issues, including human kindness, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights, immigration rights, the environment, even the North Dakota Pipeline (#NODAPL) was represented.
So, why were they marching? The notice on Facebook announcing the march read,
"On January 21, 2017 we will unite in Washington, DC for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families -- recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us--women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. HEAR OUR VOICE.
We have local marches in Flagstaff, Sedona, Prescott, phenix, [sic] and Tucson.”
It was the largest march in recent memory to gather around the Courthouse, with participants able to entirely circle the Square. But, the Prescott march was just one in the state and country. Eight communities in Arizona participated: Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona, Phoenix, Tucson, Green Valley, Bisbee, Ajo and even Jerome. AZCentral reports that at least 36,000 attended across Arizona. Hundreds of cities across the country and world joined in - marches took place in all 50 states and in over 70 countries.
Now, the organizers of WomensMarch.com are planning to continue their efforts with 10 Actions / 100 Days. Locally, there is a planning meeting at Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 12-2 PM on Wednesday, January 25, according to Pat Beitel, one of the organizers of the Prescott march.
If you go:
What: Womens March Planning Meeting for Further Efforts
Where: Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Address: 882 Sunset, Prescott, AZ
Date: Wednesday, January 25
Time: 12-2 PM