Last Saturday, approximately 10,000 people came to show support for the Women’s March in Kansas City, one of many across not just the country, but the world.
The Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus organized the event. Multiple community leaders spoke about a diverse range of topics from reproductive rights, disability rights, immigration, police brutality and sexual assault. Representatives from other organizations in attendance at the event included Stand Up KC, KC for Refugees, Grandparents Against Gun Violence, Planned Parenthood and more. The rally included inspirational stories from people of different walks of life and was an opportunity for activists to make new connections and plan how to move forward in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency.
The new president might explain why the turnout for this year’s marches was larger than those in the past. Since Inauguration Day, President Trump and a majority Republican Congress have made moves and promises to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the ACA. Changes to the White House website have been made, including the removal of the climate webpage, sections on healthcare, LGBT rights and civil rights.
According to The Hill, Trump’s team and White House staffers have made a plan that would cut $10.5 trillion in spending over 10 years. The plan would reduce or eliminate funding to the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy and Transportation, the Department of Justice, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and 25 of the DOJ’s Violence Against Women Programs.
It is clear that the current administration threatens the values and milestones that social movements have worked towards.
“I refuse to go back,” said Linda Gourley, wearing a pink cap with cat ears and holding a pink sign with the words, “Thou Shalt Not Mess with Reproductive Rights,” at the march.
“I don’t think they [the younger generations] understand what it was like back then,” said Gourley. “I think they take for granted the access to birth control and the right to have an abortion and the right to have a voice.”
While some may not know what it was like to go without certain rights and privileges, there were both young and old, students and parents, men and women, cisgender and trans people, and supporters of various ethnicities at the event. Thousands of people came together to stand in solidarity.
After the speeches concluded, marchers stuck around to enjoy the music and meet new people. If one message came across more clear than any other, it was the need to collaborate, plan, and unite.
Attendees were urged to carry on their fight once they left the march, to call their state representatives and to get involved. As one of the most Successful Women’s Marches in history, more speeches and marches lay in the future. 10 Actions/100 Days is a campaign by the Women’s March on Washington that encourages taking ten actions to stand for what you believe during the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. More information about the campaign can be found on The Women’s March on Washington website.