Three years ago, on Jan. 21, 2017, thousands of women and their allies came together on the streets of Washington to advocate for women’s rights, one day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Since then, the protest has become an annual event nationwide.
That’s what brought hundreds together in Tallahassee on Saturday for the fourth annual Women’s March. The Women’s March Anniversary Rally took place at 11 a.m. in front of the Capitol.
A wave of women and volunteers gathered in solidarity in front of the Capitol with their signs to send a powerful message about women’s rights. While some may have shown up for reproductive rights, others may have shown up for LGBTQIA rights, to end violence or immigrant rights.
The rally was hosted by seven reputable organizations. Hosts of the rally included: Florida Planned Parenthood PAC, Indivisible: RISE, Resist TRUMP Indivisible-Tallahassee, Women’s March Alliance of North Florida, Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC), Florida Planned Parenthood Generation Action, and Indivisible Tallahassee.
As supporters stood behind her, Lauren Brenzel, statewide organizing director for Planned Parenthood PAC, began the rally speaking on the barriers that have been placed on women since Trump began his term as president. Brenzel also announced that Florida Planned Parenthood PAC is showing up in a big way in 2020 to hold legislators accountable.
“In 2020, the Florida Planned Parenthood PAC and our partners at Planned Parenthood Votes are making a major investment in ensuring that change comes to Florida,” Brenzel said. “We will be investing in a $2.5 million campaign in electoral efforts this year.”
Imani Hutchinson, a third-year social work major at FAMU and student leader with Generation Action, was one of the five speakers at the rally. While speaking, Hutchinson recalled being reprimanded at a Senate committee meeting for calling out racist and anti-immigrant remarks.
“I was told by Senator Debbie Mayfield that legislators don’t attack me so I shouldn’t attack them,” Hutchinson said. “But the truth is, their laws are an attack on me and the people that I care about. How can legislators say they don’t attack me and at the same time be a member of a party that pushes for an increasing number of guns in our schools? How can they say they don’t attack me and make racist remarks about women of color having children?”
Hannah Cake, a Women’s March supporter, hadn’t originally planned to be at Saturday’s rally but felt this was an important event.
“I think this is especially important considering the things that are happening in Florida’s Legislature right now. There are so many bills that are an affront to women’s rights and LGBTQ rights. If you think about abortion bills that are across the board preventing young women to access safe abortions, having them jump through so many loopholes that are so unreasonable, Cake said. “I think it’s important that we organize and let our voices be heard by politicians.”
This weekend marks the fourth anniversary of the Women’s March on DC. The women’s march on Washington happened on Saturday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
For more information on women’s rights or what you can do to get involved, visit www.womensmarch.com