A Women's Place is in the Resistance

On the start of the legislative session, individuals from all over Utah came together to march at the Utah State Capitol. The numbers are in, and the estimation is that there were over 6,000 individuals, and attendees were not just women. As an attendee of the event myself, I saw many men and children, both infants and those old enough to speak and proudly hold their signs. The event was held on Monday, January 23rd for a reason, which was to make a statement to Utah state legislators about the importance of women’s rights.

The march began at the base of North Temple, where police officials were helping to direct traffic and prevent cars from heading up State Street. The sky was releasing snowflakes larger than I’ve ever seen, making the experience that much more dramatic. However, even though there was a large amount of snow, it did not stop these individuals from making a statement. Attendees marched together in solidarity up State Street to the base of the Capitol and then continued inside to the Capitol rotunda. I addition to the march itself, Utah Women Unite, the organization that had organized the march, had a schedule of speakers set to address those in attendance within the capitol. Standing at the top of the steps of the capitol, below was a sea of pink.

As stated on the Facebook event page for the march: “Utah Women Unite exists to protect and advance the rights of all Utah women and girls, including Utah’s marginalized groups, women of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, women of all abilities and from every financial status. We seek to unite as an intersectional collective to address the political, legal, and cultural problems faced by Utah women and to elevate the status and dignity of all people”. The event aimed “to show our strength, power, and courage and demonstrate our disapproval of Utah politician's anti-woman rhetoric and actions”. It was emphasized that this event would be inclusive, and everyone who supports women’s rights was welcome to attend, including “people of all genders, children of all genders, families, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQIA+ community, disabled folks, and climate change advocates”.

The event officially began at 2 pm and ended at approximately 4 pm. There were several individuals who spoke and addressed the crowd at the event, including Kate Kelly who is part of Utah Women Unite and a former member of the LDS church. Angela Romero and Sandra Hollins spoke as Utah representatives, as well as Senator Luz Escamilla. Also addressing the crowd were Noor Ul-Hassan, Lauren Wood and Carol Surveyor, all activists passionate about the motives behind the march. James Dabakis of the Utah State Senate 2nd District also showed his support by speaking to attendees.

From someone who attended the march and event, I was impressed. What an experience to be a part of something larger than oneself, and be able to join those with similar views and perspectives. No matter what your views are on any topic, one has to respect the level or organization and participation that is exhibited at events such as these. This event was covered by various Utah press organizations, and even national news outlets, such as The Rachel Maddow Show. I am proud to be a woman, and I was excited and honored to be a part of an event that advocated for rights that we deserve. Personally, I’d like to thank everyone who attended the event, helped organized the event, and showed their support from both near and far.

If you weren’t able to attend the event, use the links below to see what it was all about!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1790776611139139/

Video Footage: http://gephardtdaily.com/local/breaking-estimated-5k-join-in-womens-march-on-utah-state-capitol/