Thousands from Connecticut to raise their voices at Women’s March
Women's March kickoff press conference at New Haven City Hall. | Art Perlo/PW

NEW HAVEN, CONN. — Liz McCarthy and Tyree Ford are two seniors from Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) who will be joining others from around the nation and Connecticut on January 21 for the Women’s March On Washington.

“Trump’s rhetoric is insulting, demonizing, and threatening to many women, immigrants, diverse religious faiths, native, Black and brown people, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities, and we must all come together in unity and solidarity to stop it!” said Ford, “The Women’s March on Washington is going to be the first of many organized rallies and marches that’s going to change things,” she added.

At a Women’s March kickoff press conference in New Haven City Hall, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said this large scale demonstration will be a “powerful message to Trump and the Republican conference that women’s rights are human rights…We are making ourselves heard, and opening the way for all Americans to get heard.”

DeLauro, a leader in the Democratic House caucus, emphasized that institutions respond to external pressure and declared that “this march symbolizes the first day of organizing and prolonged battles for America’s agenda.”

She singled out four pieces of legislation key to the health and welfare of women, girls and families that she along with allies in Congress will fight for including saving health care and the Affordable Care Act, paid family and medical leave, gender pay equity, childcare assistance and the Violence Against Women Act.

In Connecticut, 80 buses are headed to the nation’s capital with buses also going to smaller sister marches in New York, Hartford, and Stamford Connecticut on Saturday.

“We’re expecting up to 200,000 people, and that’s just in D.C. alone, not to mention the sister rallies all throughout the country and all throughout the world. The numbers are going to be tremendous,” said McCarthy.

The Women’s March idea began when Donald Trump was elected president.  Rebecca Shook, a 60 year old retired attorney and grandmother from Hawaii went on Facebook and posted “Let’s March!”  The post quickly went viral, a voice for many people who felt the election results were not legitimate.

Soon after, assisted by her friends, Shook created an event page for the march, which was shared on the popular Facebook group Pantsuit Nation. Within less than 24 hours, 10,000 people had confirmed their attendance.

Now, over 200,000 people will join Shook to march on Washington the day after the inauguration, including McCarthy and Ford.  They will travel with several other SCSU students who are taking the drive down.

“A lot of people are scared and nervous about what’s to come in the next four years, and they want to get involved and engaged like myself, not just sitting around doing nothing” said Ford.

“It’s one way to come together as women and men against the way Muslim women, and all women were treated unfairly by Trump in this election. We’re not backing down or going anywhere, we’re going to fight hard to get the rights we deserve and need,” McCarthy said.

According to the official website for the March, there will be more than 600 sister marches taking place across the U.S. and internationally on Saturday. A sister march will be taking place in Hartford at 1 pm. on the North steps of the Capitol.  Several thousand are expected to turn out, including buses from New Haven organized by the unions at Yale.


CONTRIBUTOR

Jahmal Henderson
Jahmal Henderson

Jahmal Henderson is a union and community organizer in New Haven, Connecticut.

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