Women Say Unity, Not Strife, Define 2019 March
As women gathered across the country to march in protest for the third straight year, participants say fighting for equality and inclusiveness transcends the mainstream media’s obsession with internal squabbles
TAYA GRAHAM: This is Taya Graham, reporting for The Real News Network.
Men, women, and LGBTQ community across the country have gathered in solidarity for the Women’s March. When asked if the divisiveness on the national level matters, they told us it’s the issues, not the individuals, that count.
As women gathered in cities across the country to protest, including Washington, D.C.-.
TAMIKA MALLORY: Whether you are a doctor, or a sex worker, or one of the 800,000 furloughed workers who have not received their paychecks, I see you.
LINDA SARSOUR: We don’t care what you got to offer, because our answer to a wall in this country is absolutely not. No questions asked. Period. Point blank.
TAYA GRAHAM: New York-
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: This year, we need to make sure that we translate that power into policy.
TAYA GRAHAM: And Baltimore.
SPEAKER: It will remind you the blood from that [inaudible] hearts is now on your hands. No, we will not believe in you. You have clipped far too many wings.
TAYA GRAHAM: There was a clear focus on the issues.
RITSAHVA: -Who are going to be leading the march as cheerleaders. But I’m also here in support of all women, and especially black and brown women, because I believe that we need what we need and we need to be represented in it and sometimes we’re not.
CATHERINE LEE: The march itself is about all women. It’s not about the organizers. So I think that it was important to me to speak on issues that are important to all women, and you know, to be cognizant, and continue the discussion.
TAYA GRAHAM: The rising threat of the Trump administration’s anti-woman policies.
SPEAKER: For the first time in my life, when Trump was, so-called, elected, I felt abused by my political system. I felt used, I felt like it didn’t represent me, I felt like my voice wasn’t heard, I felt like I didn’t have a voice.
TAYA GRAHAM: The need to protect reproductive rights, and economic equity for women of all races, including protections for immigrants and their children.
SIDNEY WEST: The Women’s March has always been equality for all. I don’t think that that’s controversial. I’m sorry that some people don’t see it that way. But I think that we need to continue to do it. If we’re not being controversial, then things are not going to change.
MARILYN MOSBY: We stand yet again as the bedrock of our communities, representing every neighborhood, every race, every religion, in unity with women all across the country.
TAYA GRAHAM: For some, the gathering was generational; a way to pass the message of unity and strength to tomorrow’s leaders and advocates for change.
SPEAKER: This march is important to us so that we can know what women’s rights is, and that women can be treated fairly like one another, so women can be equally treated by men.
TAYA GRAHAM: Still, controversy loomed over the third annual Women’s March; a dispute over the inclusiveness and perceived anti-Semitism.
TAMIKA MALLORY: To all my sisters, I see you. To my Muslim sisters, I see you. To my Latina sisters, I see you. To my Asian sisters, I see you. To my disabled sisters, I see you. And to my Jewish sisters, do not let anyone tell you who I am. I see all of you.
TAYA GRAHAM: While marchers said this should be addressed, for the people who showed up with a variety of views of what the Women’s March means, there was a sense of community and strength.
CINDY: We’re growing, we’re moving. I know is happier about you know the fact that she stood up and spoke for herself, and that’s going to help us even be stronger in the future. We’re just great.
TAYA GRAHAM: A solidarity and sense of purpose that belied the mainstream media’s obsession with internal conflict.
LYNNEA ANDERSON: The world is motivated by divisiveness, and the world is motivated by conflict. That’s what is–that’s sexy. And so I think we need to spend more time thinking about how we can find our commonality rather than our divisiveness.
TAYA GRAHAM: That regardless of the individual reasons women assemble to protest, that the collective power of their voices and the diversity of perspectives they represent cannot and will not be ignored.
MARILYN MOSBY: We stand today exemplifying to the world a royal sisterhood where we understand that there is more that unites us as women than there is that divides us.
TAYA GRAHAM: Taya Graham and Steven Janis, reporting for The Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland.