By Kali Nelson
On January 21, 2017, upwards of 2,600 people from the Moscow/ Pullman area marched in solidarity with the Woman’s march in Washington DC. The march went from Moscow City Hall to East City Park where there were speeches by members of the community and from both U of I and WSU. Both schools had students in attendance. The march was for Woman’s Rights but encompassed issues such as immigration, the environment, and LGBTQ rights. The parking lot in front of City Hall was a sea of pink hats and protest signs.
But this is not all that I would like to talk about. I would like to explain one woman’s reason for marching: mine. I marched for the reasons I listed above, but there was more to it. I marched for other reasons that are not so nicely summed up in a word or two. I marched in protest of an administration that does not represent me or most America’s population. I marched for my rights to my body. I marched for my sisters that are different than me and who now feel uncertain about their place here. I marched because we cannot ignore the facts about climate change anymore. We need to act against this threat.
I marched for a quality public education. I marched because the quality of a person’s education should not depend on how much they can spend on it. I marched because our public schools need funding and the children in them need more money to spend on their school. I’ve always been in a public school, we need more funding, not more options. Public schools should be able to fund a music, arts, and sports. They should not have to cut these programs or ask to levy taxes so that they can fund these things. That is how nations fall.
I marched for affordable healthcare for millions of people. I marched because I should not have to worry about my insurance dropping me because I have a preexisting condition. I marched for Planned Parenthood, who provide more than just abortions. I marched for the millions of women who use Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, pap test, STD testing and help to prevent unwanted pregnancy. I marched for the 1 in 5 women who has visited a Planned Parenthood center in her life (see Planned Parenthood link).
I marched for immigration because the immigrant is the building block of the America we know today. I marched because people have fought tooth and nail to get here and if we got rid of all the immigrants we wouldn’t have much of a country. I marched because a wall is not a foreign policy of the 21st century. I marched because hate has no place in my life or my country. I told myself that 2017 would be a year of love and healing and so I am doing my part because nothing will happen if I don’t do anything. 2017 is the year that I act upon my life instead of letting others decide what my life will be for me.
I marched because I was sick of people on the internet telling me, my generation was lazy. I was sick of hearing that I need to accept and respect the new administration of this country. I marched because I am neither lazy nor able to respect an administration that does not respect me. I marched to prove that this new president did not have my vote and that he must understand that I will not be silent about the issues that matter to me.
I marched for my family. I marched for my sister, so that she could have the right to her body and not have a man who doesn’t know her telling her what she can and cannot do with it. I marched so my brother could see that there is still injustice in the world and that politics are something to be invested in. I marched for my dad, so he can see that he has raised a strong-willed lady who has her own ideas for this country. I marched for my mom, who does not have the option. I marched for the future. I marched to set into motion a fight that I will fight for the next four years, if not for life. I marched and I will march again if I need to.