'We are here for all of us': Despite negativity surrounding the Women's March 2019, thousands rallied for unity in DC
- Thousands of people marched in the third Women's March in Washington, DC, despite controversy surrounding the original founders of the movement.
- Recently, co-chair Tamika Mallory recently came under fire for her relationship with Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, and his anti-Semitic stance, causing a division among key organizers.
- The Democratic National Convention also pulled its support for the march over Mallory's comments.
- Several marchers told INSIDER they were aware of the issues surrounding the march but came for the cause, not the controversy.
- "We are here for all of us," one marcher told INSIDER.
A thick crowd waited in anticipation for the 2019 Women's March in Washington, DC, to begin on January 19.Marchers danced in place to music playing from several speakers throughout Freedom Plaza, and protest signs filled the sky.Advertisement
Unified chants of "Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go" echoed off buildings as the crowd began marching towards the US capitol building.
Thousands of people marched in the city's third annual Women's March, despite controversy surrounding the original founders of the movement. Women's March co-chair Tamika Mallory recently came under fire for her relationship with Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, and his anti-Semitic stance.Additionally, the Democratic National Convention pulled its support for the march over Mallory's comments. The issue caused a division among central organizers of the march and lead to two Women's marches nationwide.
Despite the controversy, the march still had an air of unity. Here's how the day unfolded:Advertisement
Several marchers told INSIDER they were aware of the issues surrounding the march but came for the cause, not the controversy.
Many said they weren't aware that two marches were occurring and described a feeling of unity, rather than divisiveness.Advertisement
More than a dozen people told INSIDER why they chose to attend the Women's March on Saturday, and what issues were most important to them.
Ellie Stitzer, a 22-year-old student from Missouri, said she'd heard of the controversy, but wasn't fazed. She came to the march to represent women with disabilities. "I knew there was some controversy with the leadership but I still respect the message of the organization as a whole," she said.Advertisement
Steve Palacios, a 35-year-old attorney from New York, said he'd heard of the controversy but was here for his child, his wife, and his dog. "I brought a female into this world with my wife, and I fear that a lot of the protection that encompasses women needs to be addressed," he said.
Sixth-grader Roxy Smith told INSIDER her mother surprised her with a trip from Nashville to DC for the march. "I love and I respect the whole Women's March," she said. "And I would love to be here because it's everybody having signs that talk about their feelings of what's going on."Advertisement
Mychal Kamara, 30, told INSIDER he felt passionate about women's rights, and believed he sometimes has experienced advantages as a man. "We are all people," he said. "Personally, as an African American and being denied things — I identify with women. So I think all people deserve the same chances."
48-year-old Allison Picott, from Boston, said she was most passionate about protecting women's right to choose. "I want to ensure for my niece's future, a future where she can do anything she wants."Advertisement
Melissa Rangel, a 41-year-old school counselor from California, told INSIDER that she was fighting for a range of issues — equality, immigration, and women's rights. "We're not in a position right now where our country is doing the right thing in a lot of ways," she said.
Sam Beesley, 18, said he was disappointed by the controversy surrounding the Women's March. "I don't like the fact that women are being excluded or people are trying to exclude women from this march because of a different part of their identity," he said. "I just dont think this is what this march is about or what this movement is about, and it's very counterproductive."Advertisement
Shirley Cantey, from Charlotte, North Carolina, said she was inspired to see so many young people attending the Women's March. "That tells [me] that America is going to be in good hands — we are not going to be divided as women," she said. "We are here for all of us."
One furloughed government worker, 62-year-old Ole Varmer, said that he's been upset for two years since Trump was elected, and said "the world's turned into this hate" and he hoped Americans would work together to fix it. "Love beats hate, love trumps Trump," he said.Advertisement
American University student Brittany Ogbemudia said she was just glad to see people coming together, and said the most important fight for her was "making sure we are united for a cause like this, and to keep it on."
High-school sophomore Camille Neal said she started an activism club at her school and brought a group of 40 fellow students to DC from New York. "I'm passionate about activism," she said. "I go to an all-girls school, so it's very important that we do things like this."Advertisement
Sharon Pasia, a 22-year-old from Chicago, said she has a lot of furloughed family members who haven't been paid during the government shutdown over President Donald Trump's border wall funding. "It's been a very shitty year. And I came here to be with other people who kind of feel like crap and it's just kind of nice to be with those people," she said.
38-year-old Carrie Scoville said she has a son with special needs and felt it was important to speak out for those who can't speak for themselves. "Women have rights, we all have rights — it's not right to split up families. It doesn't make sense to me to build a wall and then not pay our military to protect us, so I had to be out here to just get my voice heard and to get everyone else's voices heard," she said.Advertisement
Seven-year-old Cayden-Storm Person said he joined the Women's March "to support women."
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