By SAMANTHA GRISOWOLD
“I can’t believe we’re still protesting this s—-,” was on one of my favorite signs at the women’s march that was held in Erie.
I thought the sign was funny because sadly, it’s still too true. The things that were being protested in the ‘60s and ‘70s are still being fought for today, 50 years later.
The turnout for the march in Erie was much bigger than I expected. It was amazing to be surrounded by thousands of people who believe in the same things that I believe in — and were passionate enough to show up to demonstrate them.
Organizers of the event estimated there were about 2,500 people who turned out for the event, which is impressive for Erie.
The march in Erie took place on the same day that women’s marches all around the country and across the world were held, not coincidentally, the day after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration.
I wish I could say that the women’s march had nothing to do with politics, but in reality, it had everything to do with politics.
While most of the people who attended the march were there to promote love, equality and acceptance, there were unsurprisingly a good number of people who held signs displaying their hatred for Trump.
Trump was sworn in as the 45th president on Friday and has since proceeded to attempt to tear down so much of what this country has worked to accomplish in the past eight years.
In just four short days, Trump has managed to sign executive orders to advance approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipeline, withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, freeze federal hiring and reinstate the “Mexico City Policy,” which prevents federal funds from going to non-government organizations that provide abortion services — even though federal funds have never been allowed to be used to fund abortions — preventing thousands of low-income women in foreign countries from receiving health care.
Opening Facebook and seeing the latest post from CNN about the next idiotic thing Trump is doing is painful. I can only imagine what the next four years will bring.
But there is one thing we can do to battle the ever-present ignorance and incompetency in this country — we can continue to fight. We can continue to raise our voices against unfair legislation. We can continue to organize peacefully, in marches such as Saturday’s, to show that we will not back down.
Being able to participate in something as profound as the march enveloped me in hope, pride and confidence — confidence that what I believe in is not something outlandish or unrealistic. It gave me the confidence that maybe someday those who identify as women will get the same treatment as everybody else and won’t be subject to unfair prejudices or discrimination.