Washington D.C. was not the only location where chants rang out for demands of equality for all on Jan. 21. All over the world on Saturday, more than 650 women’s marches took place to raise awareness on the issue of human rights. Tallahassee wasn't left out of the number.
The march, hosted by Florida Planned Parenthood Alliance, began with a pep rally at Railroad Square where everyone was invited to get “fired up” before the trek up the hill to Florida A&M University’s Hansel Tookes Recreation Center.
Shaylnn Cyprien, a current FAMU student and Jaymee Smith, a graduate of the university, didn’t see staying at home as an option, even during the unfavorable weather.
Cyprien said, “Well, we were watching CNN — watching the women’s march in Washington and all over the world — and we just got inspired. Like ,let’s go!”
Despite the continuous thunderstorm warnings issued by local news channels, people from various backgrounds gathered together to raise their voices for not only women’s rights, but human rights.
Cyprien and Smith were accompanied by more than 14,000 other marchers. Among the crowd was Jequita Morgan, who drove two hours from Franklin County, Fla. to attend the women’s march.
She has been attacked on numerous occasions for protesting and voicing her opinions, but she believes “taking a stand for your beliefs is significant even if your opinion is a part of the minority.”
Despite the dark and rainy forecast, the peaceful protestors were inexhaustibly high spirited. Chants rang from the mouths of residents of all ages. “Black Lives Matter” and “My body, my choice” were only two of the dozens of chants.
Individuals were holding signs marked with their emotions on recent transitions of the president, health care and equality. In the recreation center, many emotions resonated within the room as strangers hugged each other and tears met the floor when speakers approached the podium to speak about their personal triumphs.
Oz Sampson was one of those listening ears. “Everyone deserves the right to feel equal to the next individual no matter how different they are from one another,” he said. “It became very prevalent that this march could not be merely described as a women’s march, but a human rights march, one that promotes a progressive change. We must go against the grain and voice our opinions by marching and protesting like we are doing today.
One young woman wanted people to know the event was more than just a march. Her poster read “This is not a moment, it’s the movement” as she marched in the rain.