United we march


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In unison the world shouted.

Washington, D.C. Orlando, Florida. Los Angeles, California. Chicago, Illinois. London, England. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sydney, Australia. Seoul, South Korea. Nairobi, Kenya. McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

Millions of voices on every continent joined together to march on hundreds of streets on Saturday, Jan. 21. Adorned with pink knitted hats and carrying witty posters, men, women and children exercised their right to protest in worldwide Women’s Marches.

The most important message that must be taken away from the marches is not that the partisan conflict in the US is at an all-time high. Believing that may seem as if the marchers walked for nothing. Rather, listen to the echo of the millions of voices.

It’s not partisan; it’s humanitarian.

Sure, people came out for different reasons: equal pay, reproductive rights, health care, climate change, gun control, LGBT+ acceptance, immigration, etc. But, not everyone believed in every single issue. Many came out for only one.

It was a women’s march created for women by women. But the march did not only encompass women’s rights. It may have begun as a women’s march, but it grew to become a movement that represented hundreds of different issues. Cities across the world had marches on the same day. Millions of individuals walked in multiple nations. Something was sparked inside every one of them.

“It’s not an anti-Trump protest. It wasn’t even a liberal march. It was for every woman, even those who believe it wasn’t for them,” senior Leah Hargrove said, who was at the Orlando march at Lake Eola.

Many marchers have feared a threat from the recent government change. However while the change may have been a catalyst for the protest, the one message that the organizers and the marchers held was that they could not be silenced. Even long after everyone went home and picked up their regularweekly schedules, those marchers still suffer. They still fear. They still are dependent.

Regardless of whether you agree with their views or not, the organizers hoped for many to come together in solidarity for those who might fear the future. Hardgrove marched alongside peers, teachers and family who each had someone in their thoughts as they spread the message of equality. The truly remarkable part is that all kinds of people showed up: conservatives, liberals, men, women, etc.

“I went because I wanted to be part of this exciting movement,” Spanish teacher Amarilys Heard said.

Heard travelled with her family to Washington D.C., the birthplace of the original march.

“I wanted to offer my daughters the same opportunity,” she said.

So, even if you did not march, it is important to celebrate those who did. Spread the message of solidarity to those who feel threatened or scared. And, maybe decide to come out next time.

The march was for you to become aware. It was for you to realize that controversies that are often spoken about are real and they are global and personal.

Look at the pictures. Read some people’s stories. They are there for you.

“It’s exhilarating and inspiring,” Hardgrove said. “I felt like I had the ability to make the world a better place for every single person. I felt positive and unbreakable.”

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