Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Life After the Women’s March

Women raise their signs high in the air as they march towards the Capitol Building to get to the Women’s March in Washington D.C. Photo by Alia McMurray.

Saturday, January 21st marked a historical day, but not just because it was President Donald Trump’s first day in office. Rather it was because millions upon millions of women and men covered the streets in states such as Washington, Illinois, California, Alaska, Arizona, as well as many other states to advocate for women’s rights in direct response to Trump’s administration’s stance on fundamental human rights, particularly women’s.
The central theme of the march was for women’s reproductive rights, affordable health care, equality between men and women, and the advancement of action to climate change.
From the perspective of someone who participated in the march on Washington, the love and support radiated from everyone who participated was extraordinary. It was apparent that love can trump hate when people come together.
Those chosen to speak on stage ignited a sense of unity and strength. However, there is much to be done from this point moving forward. Simply participating in the march and showing support is not enough. Everyone involved needs to relentlessly call their state representatives and demand action.
Action is needed from every corner, meaning if you have a problem or concern, take actions into your own hands. Run for local offices. Be a voice within your community and be a catalyst for change. This is key for the values that the women’s march was found upon to stay alive, as well as other marches to have long lasting effects.
Just two days after the march, President Trump showed complete indifference towards the millions of pleas represented through the march to respect the concept of women’s rights to their bodies by signing an executive order (EO) that successfully defunded Planned Parenthood. Although this EO is a setback, hope will not be lost.
Planned Parenthood has put out a statement that declares that they will look for funding through different sources, and will continue to provide lifesaving medical care to women. It is the duty of American’s to show support for organizations like this if they feel it aligns with their beliefs and continue to donate and help bridge the gap of the 100-million-dollar grant lost. The values held by all throughout the march have to be upheld throughout Trumps presidency to show him as well as his administration that we will not back down.
Another aspect to focus on after the Women’s march is how protests will continue to affect policies going forth. Trump signed an EO on January 27th, just nine days into his presidency in order to ban Muslims from the US for 120 days.
This unconstitutional and institutional racism led to hundreds of refugees with or without a green card to not be allowed into the US, and also prohibited Americans arriving from student and personal trips abroad to not be allowed back. Thankfully, hundreds of people showed an outpour of support and went to airports around the country to protest this ban.
In response, the Trump administration has scaled back on the policy allowing those with green cards and American citizenship to not be affected. However, if even half of the millions of people who marched at the women’s march showed up at airports everywhere, we could make an even bigger change.
Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is what handed Donald Trump his presidency. Ignorance is what allows people to idealize the American notion that we are still a well maintained melting pot and that’s what we’ll always be.
With the recent rise of racism and tension, our pot is running out of water instead of boiling over with acceptance of every culture and tradition like originally intended. We need to be vigilant towards not being ignorant, consistently protest, consistently speak out towards right and wrong. If the Women’s March was your first march, don’t make it your last.
As a people, we can’t sit idle while our nation is being dissected and divided. As college students, we are the generation who will continue our ancestors fight and create new ones. We are the people, a people who are comprised of different religions, traditions, and skin colors, and various other qualities that make all unique.
We need to hang on to those crucial qualities, not assimilate to this administration’s goals to divide us and come together like never before. Consistent and relentless action is vital for our nation’s future.

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Life After the Women’s March