January 23, 2017
Inspiring speeches from Women’s Marches across the country
by Julia Fleischaker
On Saturday, Americans from coast to coast, and everywhere in between, took to the streets in a protest that ended up being larger—by orders of magnitude—than the crowds gathered for Friday’s inauguration ceremony. There were too many speakers, in DC, Chicago, Park City, Boston, and more, for us feature them all, but here are a few standouts, including speeches from a number of What We Do Now contributors.
The unapologetically fierce Linda Sarsour, a national co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, spoke in DC. (Standard YouTube disclaimer applies; please don’t read the comments.)
Civil rights activist Tamika Mallory is another co-chair:
Transgender rights activist Janet Mock also spoke in DC:
“My sisters and siblings are being beaten, brutalized, neglected and invisibilized, extinguished, and exiled. My sisters and siblings have been pushed out of hostile homes and intolerant schools. My sisters and siblings have been forced into detention facilities and prisons and deeper into poverty. And I hold these harsh truths close. They enrage me and fuel me, but I cannot survive on righteous anger alone. Today, by being here, it is my commitment to getting us free that keeps me marching. Our approach to freedom need not be identical, but it must be intersectional and inclusive.”
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem:
“We are here and around the world for a deep democracy that says we will not be quiet, we will not be controlled, we will work for a world in which all countries are connected. God may be in the details, but the goddess is in connections. We are at one with each other, we are looking at each other, not up. No more asking daddy. We are linked. We are not ranked. And this is a day that will change us forever because we are together. Each of us individually and collectively will never be the same again.”
In Boston, Elizabeth Warren gave a typically fiery speech.
“We’re here today because of the power of women,” Warren said. “The power of women to come up with good ideas, like this rally. The power of women to organize, like this rally. And the power of women to make sure that as our country enters a new political era that the voices of the people will be heard.”
She added, “Yesterday, Donald Trump was sworn in as president. That sight is now burned into my eyes forever. And I hope the same is true for you — because we will not forget. We do not want to forget. We will use that vision to make sure that we fight harder, we fight tougher, and we fight more passionately than ever — not just for the people whom Donald Trump supports, but for all of America.”
Don’t miss Angela Davis, Ilhan Omar, and, if you’re wondering about the kids? Listen to Sophie Cruz, the six-year-old immigration activist, and feel good about our future.
Joined on stage by her parents and younger sister, 6-year-old Cruz told the crowd that she had joined the demonstration to make “a chain of love to protect our families.”
“Let us fight with love, faith and courage so that our families will not be destroyed,” Cruz said. “I also want to tell the children not to be afraid, because we are not alone. There are still many people that have their hearts filled with love. Let’s keep together and fight for the rights. God is with us.”
Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.