By Kirsten Raper and Chelsea Bailey, News Editor, Assistant Features Editor –
Thousands of people gathered together in Chattanooga on Jan. 20 to show support for women’s rights and gender equality by participating in the second Women’s March.
The Women’ March is a national movement that was created last year in response to Trump’s presidency.
The march in Chattanooga began at 11:30 a.m. in Coolidge Park and eventually made its way through downtown and North Shore. Before people started marching, an array of speakers addressed the crowd, including the organizer, Alaina Cobb. Cobb addressed the “Me Too” movement.
UTC students were among this year’s marchers and all had different reasons for being at the event.
Morgan Johnson a junior from Knoxville said she enjoyed making signs for the march and that she wanted to show her opposition to inequality.
“I’m here to support women and people all over this country who identify as women to fight the patriarchy and fight racism and sexism, and inequality in all forms,” Johnson said.
Sayuri Madrigal, a freshman from Nashville, said she wanted to march because her family has been affected by some of the legislation changes that have taken place under Trump administration.
“I have a lot of family members who are on DACA, and whenever he [President Trump] revoked it, it really affected them. While I’m not a DACA participant, I feel like with me having a US citizenship, I can help a lot,” she said.
In addition to UTC students, community members were also present.
Mike Welsh from Georgetown, Tennessee, said he decided to march because he doesn’t agree with the way President Trump has been running things.
“I don’t really like what he’s doing. I don’t really care much for the Republicans. I hate the way that they twist everything, and I’m all for women as well. I’ll be glad when we have more women in politics,” Welsh said. “I’m most passionate about equality for everyone. I’m tired of the way that we’re excluding a certain group because of their color, because of their sex, because of anything. We’re a nation of immigrants, that’s our strength.”
Jean Bryant from Dunlap, Tennessee, said that she wanted to join in on the national movement in order to make a political statement.
“When I was in the 60’s and the Vietnam War was going on, and all the women were burning their bras, my husband was in the military, so I couldn’t get involved in that,” said Bryant. “For the first time in my life, I feel it’s necessary for me to become political and to get involved.”
In response to the marches all over the country, President Trump tweeted “Beautiful weather all over our great country for all women to march. 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. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”