Women’s march takes place in Perry Square

Category:  News
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 at 5:25 PM
Women’s march takes place in Perry Square by Anna Ashcraft and Dakota Palmer
Photo: Dakota Palmer

The election and recent inauguration of President Donald Trump sparked the Women’s March on Washington, a march in support of women’s reproductive rights, health care and general women’s rights, in addition to other issues.

Cities across the country, including Erie, and even some countries around the world, stood in solidarity with those in Washington and held sister marches. A reported 5 million men and women marched worldwide, and 2,000 people marched in Erie.

The march in Erie began around 2 p.m. at the Erie County Courthouse and went around Perry Square, eventually concluding at the gazebo in the middle of the block.

“We got together to have unity, [to] show people that we can all depend on each other, we can all be safe. We can defend each other’s rights that we have fought so hard for. We are here for each other. As women, we are here for our families. We are here to stand for justice and freedom,” said Cindy Purvis, a member of the organizing committee.

“At the beginning of the week, we were thinking 300 (people), then a couple days ago, we were thinking 700, and last night we were thinking we’re going to have a thousand people here. Then we got here today, and we were like ‘I think there’s more than a thousand people here,’” Purvis said.

Purvis mentioned that people traveled from all over the tristate area to join the march in Erie. There were people from some cities and towns in Pennsylvania, including Crawford County, in addition to New York residents in attendance.

According to local activist Daniel Doubet: “Ever since the election’s rhetoric, it has put a lot of people in fear. Now we are living under this president who has bragged about committing sexual assault and has targeted potentially every press person in the country, so we wanted to create an event that speaks to our community and that’s what we did.”

Heather Cole, a professor at Penn State Behrend, introduced the speakers for the event, including CEO and founder of Her P.O.W.E.R, Tiffany McCloud, and local poet Marisa Moks- Unger.

“We have the power to change our community together. Do we experience racism, discrimination and sexism? Yes, we do. But my answer to all of that is: so, what?” said McCloud.

Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy senior Seth Meyer attended the march and said, “I was there to witness what I hope is just the start of defending civil rights against this new administration, which seems to be a threat to these liberties.”

The march in Los Angeles had 750,000 people; Washington D.C. had 500,000 people; and places such as Chicago, Boston and Denver had approximately 100,000 to 200,000 people.

Ohio State University students Elisabeth Beard and Maddie Nurre both took part in the Washington D.C. march.

Nurre said that in order to make citizens’ voices heard for the next four years, they need to “support the organizations fighting for what you believe in, however you can, be it volunteering or donating, and vote.”

“I realized that in order to protect my rights and to help those who would be most negatively affected by Trump’s campaign promise,
I have to be willing to stand up, fight back and speak out,” said Beard.

Additionally, Dayton, Ohio resident Jennifer Miller said, “I think this march sent a clear message to politicians in Washington that we are here, we are paying attention to the policies you are passing, and we are active.”

Purvis said: “If they want to stay involved, they can go to our Facebook event page and sign up. We are going to continue to be involved, and to move things forward and to stand up to each other.”

Anna Ashcraft and Dakota Palmer can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail. com. 

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