Since the Women’s March on Washington began, perhaps the biggest question has been: Why march?
We are a large group of women throughout the state of Connecticut who woke up on November 9 with the realization that something unique had occurred. We each woke up the day after the election feeling like strangers in an alien land.
A call to move from despondency to recovery and resistance, created a need to reach out and join forces that ultimately coalesced in the March on Washington on January 21. While, as individuals, we may have joined this effort for different reasons, we have organized around three principles:
- We march to support each other and remind ourselves that we are not alone.
- We march to send a clear message that the new administration has no mandate.
- We march to organize for a better future.
Members of our communities voted for someone who opposed the very values and ideals that, if fully realized, would make our country great. Values such as justice, liberty, equality, were dismissed by Mr. Trump throughout the campaign and now, as he organizes his cabinet, are clearly not embraced by them.
Trump has continued to show both his ignorance and disregard for the Constitution. This is terrifying. He threatens to force our friends and loved ones to sign a registry based on religion, to separate immigrant families, often sending family members to countries that are unknown at best and life-threatening at worst. The pledge to build a wall, a signal of intolerance and hate, would further separate families.
The new administration threatens to take away the right to marry who you love and opposes the right to make decisions about your own body. Gun violence prevention strategies will remain unimplemented and understudied, leaving our communities less safe.
The incoming administration was ushered in by a minority of U.S. citizens, on a wave of intolerance and bigotry. We stand united with our sisters and brothers of every race, religion, ethnic, gender and sexual minority to work for a positive world safe and equal for all.
We stand together with the most vulnerable, those threatened rhetorically with ignorance and hate, and those threatened legislatively with having their rights reduced or eliminated.
We believe in a United States which is fair and equal for all. We will fight against any threat to the rights of others, and we stand together with those in need. We believe that the response to hate is unity and community building and we will organize and work to make that happen.
There are millions of us that do not share their vision of hate and intolerance. Thousands of us will march throughout the country to declare our commitment to inclusion and diversity. As seen in the popular vote count, the majority of Americans do not agree with his proposed policies. Experts agree that the proposed policies are not tenable. We will be seen and heard in our unity. We will come together in numbers large enough that we cannot be ignored.
We will not be complacent. We will not be silent. The march is the first step and will be followed by organized and concentrated opposition to any attempts to limit the freedom, liberty or justice of any member of our community. We will resist and persist as we look towards the future. The March on Washington on January 21 will compel us to march on.
For more information join us on our Facebook site: We March On – Connecticut Chapter.
Helen Adams, Pam Elkow, Beth Kerrigan, Cass Martineau, Polly Moran, Po Kim Murray, Sarah Raskin and Heather Whaley are all members of the organizing committee for the Connecticut Chapter of the Women’s March on Washington.