By Grace Pham
Millions of people worldwide united for the Women’s March on Jan. 21. People were at the march not only to support gender equality, but also to support causes such as immigration reform and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Expeditions teachers Noelle Easterday, Aaron Calvert and Lissa Thiele attended the Jan. 21 Women’s March from three different locations: Washington D.C, San Francisco and San Jose. Below are their different stories and perspectives from that day.
In Their Eyes
Noelle Easterday, an Anthropology teacher for the Expeditions team, went to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.
“I was there as a member of a coalition of people concerned, not just about one issue, but about the general state of fear that many people in the U.S. are in with this new administration,” Easterday said. “It includes women’s rights, anti-xenophobia, supporting science, protecting public lands and supporting love in all its forms.”
“The goal of the march was to send a clear message to both Congress and the new presidential administration that we are not going to stand by quietly and be complicit in the oppression of people in the U.S.”
Lissa Thiele, the Holocaust teacher for the Expeditions team, attended the Women’s March in Downtown San Jose and stated, “I was there because my grandmothers never lived long to see something like this. I was there representing family members that were no longer alive, but I never thought that women would take to the streets and protest the way they did.”
“I did it for all the women that can’t do it,” Thiele said. “It’s so important to come together on these issues that I think it’s not a bipartisan type of thing; it’s not a Republican-Democrat thing; it’s a human thing.”
Ms. Thiele said the goal of the march “was to put a center focus on women and to be able to come together in a peaceful way and I think to unify together.”
Aaron Calvert, an Entrepreneurship teacher for the Expeditions team, attended the Women’s March in San Francisco.
“I attended because I oppose Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric against minority groups. I support the right of all people to protest against the racist and sexist language that Trump used and believes in. I don’t agree with his hateful vision of what America is,” Mr. Calvert said.
“I can only hope that the sheer number of protesters registered on the nation’s, and Trump’s, consciousness. A lot of people are worried about what Trump’s presidency will mean for women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, immigrants’ rights, Muslims’ rights, and the environment. By protesting and raising awareness for these concerns, the members of the protest hope to change the nation’s conversation on these issues. Members of the protest want to build a collective, intersectional group to promote and protect the rights of all people. At this point in time, I do not think we can measure the impact yet; it is just too soon.”
Mr. Calvert said the San Francisco Women’s March served a purpose: “The motivating event for the march was the election of Donald Trump. Many people were upset and worried that Trump would enact restrictive and punitive laws against a variety of groups of people. There was no one single issue that all protesters supported; it was a coalition of groups who support each other and oppose Donald Trump’s policies.”
Featured image (at the top of this post): Women’s March participants in San Francisco rallied to support many causes. PHOTO CREDIT: Aaron Calvert