Marching for Rights

Sydney Underwood, Staff Writer

  On Saturday, October 17 throughout the nation, thousands of men and women stood their ground on behalf of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. Hosted by the Women’s March organization, at the City Park Center in Brentwood, CA, around 50 to 60 women and men of all ages participated in the sign-holding event.
   According to the hosts of the event, Cyd Kriletich and Judy Haber, the objective of the event were for Brentwood residents to voice their opposition to Trump and his plan to fill Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat in the Supreme Court. The participants were told to bring a sign and a mask of their own while being socially distanced.
   Camille Castano (11), a current Heritage High School student, participated in the event this past Saturday along with a few of her friends that also attend Heritage. Since she was around 13, her passion for activism has since bloomed into inspiring her friends and classmates of vocalizing women’s experiences.
   “ Women’s marches are incredible ways to loudly vocalize women’s voices about the social oppression we experience. It gives us a chance to come together in a large group and have conversations about these normally ‘uncomfortable’ topics,” stated Castano.
  Although the Women’s March organization isn’t solely based on the filling of RBG’s seat, it works towards the importance of civil, reproductive, LGBTQIA, workers, disability, immigrant, and environmental rights.
   “The mission of Women’s March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change. Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity, and respect,” stated on the Women’s March organization’s official website.
   Patriot Caitlynn Kell (11), who also attended the march, feels hopeful that her generation will influence change.
  “As a high school student fighting for my rights, I feel as if my generation is really educated and we will bring a difference into this world towards future generations and on and on,” stated Kell.
   The beginning of the organization sparked in 2017 on January 21st, as it was intended for women to voice their rage and grief on the 2016 Presidential election won by Donald J. Trump, their resolve to do something in response. To this day, it is depicted as the largest single-day protest to ever happen in the United States’ history as millions of women in D.C and local gatherings attended.
   From 2017 to now though, the organization has put itself in a position in which many of those women who stood actively for it, backed away from it entirely. Reported in an article written by the Washington Post, that the Women’s March organization have:
    “Struggled to find its purpose amid national controversies, financial mismanagement, accusations of anti-Semitism, and a reputation for being unwilling to play nice with others.”
   With these claims in the minds of many women in America, it caused a major decline of support, resulting in less participation in this year’s Women’s March. Drastically going from almost 200,000 activists for the event in D.C in 2017 to only around 10,000 in 2020. Taking into account the COVID-19 virus spreading could be another reasoning behind the low numbers, however, it still is concerning to the organization how much the participation has dropped.
   Recently, the women who left have created their own organizations that contribute to vocalizing women’s experiences and what they believe, which ultimately has brought more women together and doesn’t reflect any type of rivalries between the organizations. From which all of these activists are fighting for the same goal or have similar ideologies.
  “The most difficult thing is the negativity you can get from people who disagree with your opinions and having to explain how women don’t have equal rights,” stated Leia Kuntz (11).
   Even through all the difficulties activists face, they continue to verbalize through these events. Many more organizations are seen to hold these events during the next few months due to the upcoming election and the consideration of Amy Coney Barnett, the central hotspot of where these events will be concerned, being recently selected for Supreme Court Justice.