Despite the weather conditions affecting the east coast of the United States and other areas, the 4th Annual Women’s March gathered tens of thousands of women, femmes, and allies nationwide on January 18, 2020. Feminists and women’s human rights defenders spent the day walking the streets of their cities to command the end of the Trump-Pence administration, bigotry, violence against women, rape culture, the persistent pay gap, and more, while raising awareness and demanding reproductive freedom, LGBTI+ rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, indigenous rights, and climate justice.
As a representation of the diverse and smart BELatina team, I joined the Washington D.C. mass march after Lucy Flores, former Nevada assemblywoman and the newest Women’s March board member, extended me the invitation to rise up and live firsthand the energy of the rally.
This being my first protest ever, as soon as I stepped into D.C., I felt a particular joy and an invigorating feeling. I was thinking about how amazing it is watching fathers taking their 3- or 4-year-old sons and daughters to the Women’s March, how hopeful it is watching disabled people, families, and elders walking together despite the rain and the snow, how touching it is living the experience with my husband as an ally. And most importantly watching how womxn gathered to support each other without the labels of race or country origin.
By 10 o’clock, Freedom Plaza (1455 Pennsylvania Ave NW) was already packed. The march kicked off at 11 with a welcoming speech from Women’s March Board Member Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, who minutes later introduced to the stage a citizen of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe of Maryland, who sang a song as a remembrance of indigenous women that are missing or were murdered. Minutes later, Dickerson took again the stage to surprise all the attendees with none other than American human rights advocate and community activist, Martin Luther King III, the oldest son and oldest living child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, plus his wife Arndrea Waters King and their 11-year-old daughter Yolanda Renee King.
Right after the King family’s speeches, the Chilean protest group, LASTESIS, took to the stage to rehearse and teach the marchers their now worldwide known feminist protest anthem and dance “Un violador en tu camino” (A Rapist in Your Path) and later lead the march with Women’s March board members and other key figures and special guests along Pennsylvania Ave. and all the way to the White House to finally perform the song in English and Spanish.
Once in the White House, march goers left their signs on the General Andrew Jackson Statue, a sculpture facing the front of the presidential house to later walk back to Freedom Plaza and disperse.
After the march, different groups encouraged the attendees to keep protesting until President Donald Trump is removed from office. One of them is Refuse Fascism, a U.S.-based political organization formed three years ago in New York City that partially operates in Harlem. During the event, the group of leftists handed stickers to the crowd with the message: “Trump/Pence Must Go!
The Women’s March 2020 was the last march before the 2020 elections and wrapped up successfully. Meanwhile, the country waits while the Senate impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump begin.