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  January 21, 2018

Women March in Defiance of Trump


In Baltimore and around the world, the second anniversary of the Women's March on Washington prompted calls for unity in resisting the policies of the Trump Administration
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TAYA GRAHAM: This is Taya Graham reporting for The Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland. It's the one-year anniversary of the Women's March where women around the world showed their solidarity and resistance to Donald Trump presidency. Here in Baltimore, we're at the anniversary, and it's not just about protest. We have teach-ins. We have sit-ins. We have people registering to vote. We have people encouraging women to run for political office. We have the Fight For 15 to raise minimum wage. We have a fight to protect the reproductive rights of women.

We have a huge spectrum of issues here but all the women want, and their male allies, is a seat at the table to be able to share and discuss openly the needs of everyone in this country. While the Trump administration continues to attack the rights of women, their voices only grow stronger. Nowhere was that more apparent than here in Baltimore, where thousands of women gathered in front of City Hall in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the March on Washington. The Real News talked to dozens of women. Here are their words as they explain why they say they will continue to fight for justice and equality.

CARRIE ALTOFF: Well, I actually see this as bigger than just any one resistance movement. This is just women coming forward and saying, "You know what? We're here and we kind of embody a lot of different identities, and a lot of different people. And we care about a lot of different things that may not have been so represented in our government, in our cultures recently.” So, we're just here to make that change.

JULIE HACKETT: There is a lot to fight against, a lot to speak out about, a lot of marginalization, a lot of people being left behind and I came out here to march in unit. And also, to show that Black women are always showing up for justice. We have been since the beginning of time, since we were here and oftentimes, our voices are not heard. And so, my sign reflects that, the "I Ain't A Woman," from the Sojourner Truth speech and that's very important for me to show. But also, I believe in women's unity. So I'm out here for that, too.

JILL P. CARTER: I think that we have to move beyond, this is... though. And we have to really be a political force. We need political justice and it's not about Trump. Right here in Maryland, we have no political justice. We don't have political leadership in the State House. No Black person or woman has ever been the Chair, the Speaker of the House or the Senate President. And so, we have to do a lot better politically for our women.

MARILYN MOSBY: We need to resist as we much we can. I mean, as long as we have a federal administration that is as divisive as it currently is, and wants to promote our divisions, as opposed to unifying us, then we have to resist. We can't allow serial sexual predators to define the narrative of who we are as women and that's something that I addressed today. At the end of the day, we know our place as women and that is in City Hall. That is in the state delegates. That is in, hopefully soon, in the White House.

BESSIE MBADUGHA: I am a person of immigrant status as well. My father's Nigerian and it's very important to me to be a presence and to let the world know that we are a country of immigrants, and we value everything that everyone brings to this country.

NANCY WEST: Well, I am, feel very, very strongly about women being equal with men, and very strongly about all the groups that we are not ensuring justice for.

DENISE WHARTON: I am a survivor of sexual violence and I just need everyone to know how important our lives are. Often times, we're shamed, we're blamed for what has happened to us. So, it's important for all people to know that survivors' lives matter.

SPEAKER: And I know, we’re all white and Black. But I'm here for the women who literally worked, wet nursed, white babies. And their husbands built the very streets and the very grounds of America!

ANNIE DARROW: I support gun safety and gun violence prevention. And as I started to write my sign last night, I wanted to talk about our planet, and women's rights, and I decided to make a sign because I thought, everything is wrong. And we need the government to turn this around! Open up. Get something done.

LAURA BREWER: The restrictions that gender places on you, like, I a female but I dress in male clothes. I buy all my clothes in the men's section and I have gotten called "sir" before. I'm seen as a small boy, or whatever but I'm still female. That doesn't change that. But the expectations are of me is that I'm supposed to wear heels. I'm supposed to wear makeup, I'm supposed to wear a dress but that is not my womanhood. That's not what makes me female.

SPEAKER: The only thing that makes you female is your ...

LAURA BREWER: Biology.

SPEAKER: Your biology.

LAURA BREWER: Yeah.

SPEAKER: That's what makes you a woman.

LAURA BREWER: Yeah.

CASEY MILLS: It's enough and not enough people are speaking up against it. And I think essentially, we all want the same thing, to break out of gender. But we want to abolish it instead of switching boxes or getting rid of ...

LAURA BREWER: Or giving more boxes.

CASEY MILLS: Getting rid of actual legislative or law terms that help protect women because, if we erase those terms, that doesn't actually address the root of the problem. It just obscures it. So we can't actually move forward.

LINEA AND HEIDI YORKSON: With the government that we have right now, I think we're going to have to march all the time, everywhere. We all have to stand up and be counted for.

TAYA GRAHAM: So, does that mean I'm going to see you here next year?

LINEA AND HEIDI YORKSON: Yes.

LINEA AND HEIDI YORKSON: Indeed, indeed.

NANCY WEST: I think it does my soul good to be here with so many people who agree with me. I have a hard time not feeling hopeless with all that's going on with this administration. But I do think it's making some difference. [

LINEA AND HEIDI YORKSON: All the women and men that we spoke with today vowed to fight on. Whether or not it takes another year of protest or another seven years of protest. This is Taya Graham and Stephen Janis reporting for The Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland.



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