La Serna student exercises her rights at historic Women’s March
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In 1920, the 19th Amendment was passed, giving voting rights to women across the United States.
In 1995, Hillary Clinton gave a speech titled, “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights,” in which she outlined the civil liberties of women and the basic rights they deserved. About 20 years later, she almost became the first woman president of the United States.
Fast forward to this year. January 21, 2017. This date marks the day where thousands of women and men gathered in major cities and countries around the world to raise awareness for women’s rights, as well as to protest the controversial American presidency of Donald Trump.
Just a day after Trump’s inauguration, millions marched through the streets in Washington D.C. and in cities such as Los Angeles and New York City. There was even a march in Antarctica. These citizens marched for LGBTQ+ rights, abortion laws, immigration reform, as well as racial justice.
The Women’s March was organized by multiple groups after the 2016 November election. Their goal was to plan a march in Washington DC, originally protesting Trump’s presidency. However, as more and more people across the United States had gathered the same idea, sister marches all over the world were organized.
La Serna freshman Hannah Belt was there. “The atmosphere at the march was so positive! It was really fun and nothing like what I thought a protest would be,” she said. It was full of love and support all around.” Belt had originally thought that the March would have some kind of “violence with rioters, like you see in the media.” However, it was exactly the opposite. Belt said, “There were babies, old people, young people, guys, and girls. It wasn’t even like a women’s march; it was a supportive march for love and for everyone.”
This organized protest ended up being the largest protest in American history. Belt shared one of her favorite moments from the Women’s March: “There was this one really cool speaker, I can’t remember her name but she kept saying really interesting stuff like, ‘We will not go back in time. We will not go to the back of the bus, or back in the closet.’ Her speech really stuck with me and was one of my favorite parts of the day. I’m so happy to say I was a part of history.”