People in the United States have marched for decades against oppression because it works. But parades are just part of it, said Emily Badgley, a senior at Animas High School.
“The next bit is going out and voting,” the 18-year-old said., adding that she has been to each Women’s March in Durango since it started in 2017.
Hundreds of people chanted as they marched from College Drive up Main Avenue in Durango on Saturday, joining millions around the country to recognize the fourth annual Women’s March. The procession poured into Buckley Park, where nine speakers encouraged the crowd to fight for equity, rights and respect for culture and choice. Speakers on Saturday included Allie Wolfe, Elle Carpenter, Karen Pontius, Jean Olsen, Katie Young, Beatriz Garcia Waddell, Jan Phillips, Ellis McNichol, Ally Gee and Delany Rieke.
The demonstration was about more than equality for women. People marched for immigrant rights and equality for LGBT people. Some carried signs supporting Planned Parenthood and others demanded fairness in the United States’ Senate trial of President Donald Trump.
It would be nice if people didn’t have to march for equal rights, Colorado state House member Barbara McLachlan said in an interview. But 100 years after the United States ratified the 19th amendment – barring voting discrimination base on sex – social disparities still exist.
Durango’s Women’s March, co-sponsored by Indivisible Durango, Planned Parenthood and Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, gives young people courage to say “my voice is important,” McLachlan said.
“It’s about time people say ‘maybe we have a voice,’” she said of women in the United States.
Coming together is also a chance to recognize how connected the community is, said Alina Sieber, 15. People become a force when they come together, and “it’s good to recognize that,” she said.
Violet Isgar, an 11-year-old student at Escalante Middle School, said she came to the Women’s March to help with a project she’s working on for school about womens’ rights. Marching for equal rights offers women and girls a chance to embrace around a right to chose their own path, she said.
“You can feel good about doing something yourself, to feel like you’re part of the world,” Isgar said.
The parade is a demonstration of strength in numbers, Badgley said. It’s not hard to find other examples of people gathering to affect change, she said: think students rallying for gun safety or the Black Lives Matter movement protesting police violence against people of color.
“We can show how strong we are through unity,” Badgley said.