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Gaining ground: marching for human rights

Video by Michelle Meyers.

Protesters lined the streets of downtown Eureka on Jan. 21 to be part of the worldwide Women’s March.

This year’s Women’s March occurred on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration. It is now considered to be the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.

The march in Eureka was part of the larger Women’s March movement that took place not only here, but around the globe. The intention of this movement is to protest the attitudes put forth about women by Trump and to promote women’s rights as human rights.

The initial rally began at 1 p.m. on C Street Market Square.

Speakers representing an array of local organizations, including the North Coast Rape Crisis Team, Centro Del Pueblo, Move to Amend and Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Rights, took to the stage to address their local and global communities.

Organizers concluded the rally with an inspiring performance by The Raging Grannies, a local women’s music group that sings about social justice issues.

The march began around 2 p.m.

Protesters beared signs that read statements like, “together we rise,” “don’t mourn, organize” and “anything you can do, I can do bleeding” around the streets of downtown Eureka.

A protester holds a sign at the Women’s March in Eureka on Saturday,  Jan. 21, 2018. Photo by Michelle Meyers.

They chanted statements that rang through the crowded streets, such as “me too,” which is in reference to the prevalent #MeToo movement.

“No Trump, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A.” and “I am a woman, hear me roar!” were also heard amongst the crowd.

This all plays in part of starting a conversation that “just gets brushed under the rug,” protester Loganberry Fernandez said. “Human rights is something that shouldn’t be ignored.”

Conversation is merely the first step.

Many protesters lined the streets of downtown Eureka and around the globe to express one purpose: “To be here for women,” protester Athena Gore said.

HSU students stand by a light post in downtown Eureka, located near the Women’s March on Saturday,  Jan. 21, 2018. Yomayra Mora (left), Myranda Dominguez (top left), Noel DiBenedetto (top right), Sydney Long (right) and Rowan McClelland-Bishop (center) protest with their signs. Photo by Garrett Goodnight.

“Whether it’s immigrants, Native Americans or people of color, what will forward the movement is unifying voices and hearing other groups talk about advocating in strength and in numbers,” protester Raquel Lee said.

For Brenda Perez, a voice for Centro Del Pueblo, this is her first time participating in the Women’s March.

“[The Women’s March] represents the recognition of our neighbors as workers, as students,” Perez said. “For me, saying that we are here isn’t just a statement. We are here.”

Perez is joined by Yojana Miraya, a fellow voice for Centro Del Pueblo from the Andes of Peru.

“If injustice happens, women and men come together in Latin America, especially in indigenous communities,” Miraya said.

When asked if she was afraid of what the future holds for her, as well as for women everywhere, Perez said, “We are going to do it. We have to do it.”

So in the name of human rights, they will march.

Number of marches: 673

Number of marchers: 4,956,422

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