Largest march in Eureka city history


Local people gather for women’s rights

Photos and Story By: Carlos Olloqui

What began as a simple Facebook event post has now turned into a worldwide grassroots movement.

Teresa Shook, a Hawaiian resident angered by the 2016 election results, decided to make a Facebook event and invited 40 of her friends to a “March on Washington,” on the day after the inauguration.

That very next morning she woke up to over 10,000 responses to her Facebook event. Shook, alongside others with the same emotions, came together to form the Women’s March.

Their mission – to “invite individuals and organizations committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion and those who understand women’s rights as human rights to join local coalitions of marchers in representing the rights and voices of progressive people around the world.”

On Jan. 21, more than 670 Women’s March rallies occurred throughout the country. One of those marches shut down much of Old Town Eureka Saturday evening.

Women and men, girls and boys all packed the streets of the C Street Market in Eureka. The event began with a few guest speakers followed by a march through the streets of Old Town Eureka.

Guest speakers, such Ramona Bell, Cheryl Seidner, Wendy Ring and Terry Uyeki, spoke about how the marchers could promote change during Donald Trump’s presidency. 

“We need to be together, as the mass of humanity, with all our diversity in order to join up and be powerful, and challenge the other powers that are trying to oppress us,”Arcata local Joanne McGarry said.

McGarry is a member of Stand for Peace, a local group that gathers every Friday afternoon in the Arcata Plaza and stands for something they believe in.

“We stand for peace,” said McGarry. “It’s been happening for 13 years, you can stand for whatever kind of people you want and for as long as you want.”

An estimated 2,000 people attended the march according to Eureka Police Department Chief Andy Mills.

Barbara Keating, a former HSU employee, was one of those people.

Julie Rofman and Iris Koski showing support for the Women’s March Saturday, Jan. 21 2017 in Eureka, California.

“I’m a 67-year-old white women, I do not have a target on me,” Keating said. “But this is the first election that I’ve been afraid, and not for me, but for my fellow citizens.”

This was not only a march for “girl power vs Trump power.” The protestors hit the streets for a range of reasons including immigration, health care, income equality, and the environment.

“I just don’t think we have time to waste on four years of climate change denial,” Eureka resident, Syd Munguia said. “I also think it’s a tragedy that so many millions of people are going to lose their health care, that’s what got me here today.”

Protestors say it’s time for peace. No matter your race, your gender, your color, your social status, your sexual orientation, or even your political views, it’s simply time for peace.

“Our earth needs protection,” protest marcher, Nini Nature said. “No more hate.”

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