Three years in, the Women’s March is still going strong. And that was never more apparent at the NYC march, where thousands, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, took to the streets to denounce those trying to tread on our rights!
This is what democracy looks like: thousands of women, children, men, and nonbinary people flooding the streets of Manhattan to march for the rights of women all over the world. The 2019 Women’s March may not have been as big as the first, or maybe even the second, but it was nonetheless as passionate as ever. Protestors gathered in the bitter, brutal cold, signs, drums, and flags in hand, to march alongside Central Park and down 6th Avenue together, in solidarity against the lawmakers and hate-filled individuals who still don’t think women and men are created equally.
Between chants of “Whose rights? Our rights!” and “Lock him up!” newly-elected New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave an inspiring speech about how far we’ve come — and how far we still have to go. Alexandria, who represents Queens and was born in the Bronx, reveals that she was first inspired to run for office while attending the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, DC! “In 2017, we marched on the Capitol. I had just come from Standing Rock, where I marched with our sisters. And I saw that Capitol, and a shiver went up my spine,” she said, to cheers. “I did not know then that I would run for Congress. But several months later, I launched my campaign. Last year, we elected the first freshmen class that was 50% women. This is so incredibly important.”
How cool is that? Her message was clear: we, as women and allies, “will not be quiet” when it comes to defending our rights. “Last year, we took our power to the polls,” she said. “And this year, we will translate that power into policy. It means we will work to pass an Equal Rights Amendment that ensures all will be protected by the laws of this land. That women will get pay for equal work. That we will have parental leave… But most of all, it means that this is the start of our advocacy. Because we just captured the House. Now we’re going to show what we’re gonna do with it.” Amen!
Throughout the rest of the protest, marchers shouted and hollered while waving incredibly creative signs. You can see pics of those innovative signs, and protestors in NYC, Los Angeles, and DC in our gallery above. In New York, the parade path took the march right past the Trump International Hotel in Columbus Circle, prompting chants of “shame, shame!” as people waved American flags and hoisted Trump Baby balloons into the air. The gesture repeated when the march went past the Trump-owned apartment building across from Central Park, and again outside the Fox News headquarters on 6th Avenue, near the end of the route. It’s upsetting that we have to do this every year, but as AOC eloquently said, this is just the start. We’ve got work to do, people!
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles march had just as many highlights. Sarah Hyland showed her support for Planned Parenthood, saying, “The incredible support and education provided by Planned Parenthood is more important than ever. Nothing is more important than safeguarding our choice, our health, and our bodies.” Meanwhile, Laverne Cox said, “The achieving of basic human rights, dignity, justice, or equity for one group of people does not mean that something is being taken away from another group. Now we all know that is scarcity thinking, and scarcity thinking will only drive us away further and further from each other. There are only two emotions from which all decisions are made — love or fear. And if justice is what love looks like in public, just like tenderness is what love feels like in private, as Dr. Cornel West contends, what does it mean? What does it look like for us to choose love in every aspect of the way we live?… It took me years to accept I was trans.”
And in addition performing a song “Expectations,” Lauren Jauregui said, “It’s important to talk about the strength and the courage that we as women have as individuals, and the places that strength can go when we uplift one another. A strong woman deserves to be characterized by her willingness to continue to survive through all adversity. I learned very young that to be a woman in this world meant that you have to have incredibly thick skin, especially if you want to be able to do it in front of people starting at 16-years-old. You had to be willing to except that your existence is a paradox and that people were always going to have something to say about the way that you are.”