By Jennifer Floyd –
Thousands took to the streets in downtown Asheville on Saturday for the second annual Women’s March, and Asheville wasn’t alone.
Protesters gathered in hundreds of cities, not only in the US, but the world. Women’s marches and rallies took place in Canada, France, Italy, and Germany.
With a sea of pink pussy hats and poster board signs, Asheville marchers made their way from McCormick Field to the Vance Monument, uniting behind calls of dissatisfaction surrounding the Trump administration’s stance on a range of issues, from women’s rights to climate change.
The first Women’s March, which took place in January 2017, had an estimated turnout nationally of 5 million people, making it the largest single-day protest in our nation’s history; and if reports coming in from across the country are to be believed, it doesn’t seem like the resistance is losing steam.
This 2018 Women’s march was more than just an opportunity to collectively groan about the current political climate, it was a day of action. There were multiple groups registering new voters and reminding marchers to participate in the upcoming midterm elections.
There was a focus on specific policies such as the Equal Rights Amendment, which was first introduced to Congress in 1923 and sent to the states to be ratified in 1972. The amendment, which would end the distinction of sexes in our constitution, found fresh momentum after the election of Donald Trump.
In 2017, Arizona became the first state to ratify the amendment after the original deadline had expired. With vocalized support from both Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners, supporters hope to garner enough interest to get the North Carolina General Assembly to follow in Arizona’s footsteps.
Local women’s issues were also addressed including a petition to remove Jonas Gerard’s artwork from the Asheville Regional Airport after multiple women have accused the famed local artist of sexual assault.
Donald Trump acknowledged the march with a tweet that many considered to be tone deaf, stating “Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months.” Maybe he couldn’t hear the chants of “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA” from the oval office.