Women’s March: St. Paul
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The day after President Trump’s inauguration, millions of people gathered around the world in protest. These marches, called “Women’s Marches,” were about equality. Women, men, and children of all walks of life attended, standing in seas of cheering crowds. According to the organizers of the march in Washington, D.C., the march was intended to “send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.”
More than 90,000 people marched from St. Paul College to the Minnesota state capitol in the rain and fog on Sat., January 21st. The event had over five times the turnout that was predicted despite the tough weather conditions. With the massive group trying to get to St. Paul College, light rail cars and streets were packed. “It took over an hour to get from Edina to St. Paul, which is usually a 30-minute drive. Traffic was bumper to bumper,” said sophomore Ella Haugen. The traffic did not stop anyone from reaching the demonstration, with some people walking distances of 5 miles to reach the starting destination.
The mood of the march was completely peaceful, with only one arrest throughout the day of a counter-protester spraying pepper spray into the crowd. After slowly marching to the state capitol building, speakers addressed the crowd. The emcee, Nancy Lyons, was energetic as she encouraged the crowd to keep fighting for equality their whole lives. She introduced many speakers, including MN Senator Patricia Torres Ray, US Representative Betty McCollum, and MN Representative Ilhan Omar, each of whom spoke with passion for equality. “Ilhan Omar did a great job of capturing the energy of the crowd and had powerful insights about goals for the future. She emphasized that women don’t have enough representation in the government and it inspired everyone to keep fighting for equality,” said sophomore Meredith Buenz.
The most impressive part of the march was the number of infants, children, and adolescents who turned up to take part of the historic movement. Parents carried or pushed their younger children in strollers, and older children walked along with signs and smiles. Thousands of high schoolers came with their families or friends and posted pictures on social media of the huge crowd. Among these teenagers, dozens of Edina High School students attended the protest.
The EHS students that attended the event found it educational and peaceful. “I learned so much from it and I now have so much respect for the people in our state!” said senior Will McMillan. The crowd had a moment of silence, only breached by the background noise of the surrounding metropolis. “I thought it was tremendous and the atmosphere was amazing. I felt nothing but love from people I hadn’t even met which is the best thing to feel,” said senior Jhamese Harvy. The millions of protesters worldwide signaled the public making a stance for fairness and inclusion.