How Marches Impact History
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On January 20th the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, held his highly anticipated inauguration. While his supporters felt a surge of victory, those on the radical left were outraged. Members of Anti-Fascist groups stormed through D.C. breaking windows of fast food restaurants, and even went so far as to seta limo on fire. This vandalizing act enraged many and put fear in others, but it mostly put the Democrats in a bad light. Luckily the Women’s March was a solution to this issue
On January 21st the Women’s March, also known as the biggest inauguration protests in history, was held. Men and women across America and protested against the election of the 45th president. Other countries including France and Canada also took part in the march. Their purpose in marching was to touch on issues they feel the current administration is going to destroy such as climate change, the LGBT community, the North Dakota pipeline, the black lives matter movement, immigration, and abortion, etc. While many social media users were praising the iconic handmade signs and important causes, others believed the Women’s March, and protests in general, are pointless but is that really true?
In 1918, five thousand women suffragettes in Washington D.C. marched for their right to vote. Many people, especially men were outraged at this since, during that time period, it was normal for a woman to “stay in her place.” A report about the march stated that a police officer who was covering the march at the time said ,“If my wife were here, I’d break her head.” Woodrow Wilson, who was president, did not attend the march, but the the event kicked off a movement that lead to women being more involved in politics and the passing of the 19th amendment ,allowing women to vote.
In 1963, more than 200,000 attended the March of Washington where the highly acclaimed activist Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. The purpose of this march was to urge Congress to pass a civil rights bill and end voter intimidation. At this time in history African Americans and other minorities were looked down upon, and although there were some white allies, the KKK sought out to put fear in ethnic groups of every kind. Some whites even went as far as to harass Martin’s family and bomb his household. Alas, the bigots did not win, and two years later the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were passed.
In 1987, around 200,000 people attended the March on Washington for LGBT Rights. The purpose of the march was to call for AIDs research and end the discrimination of people in the LGBT community. By 1987, more than 20,000 americans had died of AIDs and activists were searching deeply for a way to solve this issue. Although this was an important cause, the president at the time, Ronald Reagan, refused to speak about the AIDs epidemic and his press secretary laughed when a reporter had called it the, “gay plague.” Although the president didn’t seem to care about the disease killing many americans, congress did. Three years after this march, Ryan White Care Act, (a federally funded program for those with HIV) was passed.
I point out all these marches to remind you that not only are marches important, but they’re needed for an american democracy. Our duty as U.S citizens is to challenge and fix what we think isn’t right in our country. The Women’s March wasn’t meant to delegitimize Donald Trump’s presidency, it was to show President Trump what he’s going to have to deal with for the next 4 or 8 years. The ideas that President Trump plans on implementing such as building a wall or banning all muslims, can do harm to many americans. It’s important in this time that all american’s stand up for what they believe in instead of sitting by idly while bad things are happening. Political activist, Angela Davis once said, “I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I’m changing the things I cannot accept.”