All over the world, women and men marched in protest to demand equal rights for women. U.S. women protested the current administration’s lack of concern for women’s rights, DACA, immigration, reproductive choice, diversity and discrimination.
The Olympia Women’s March was inspiring and well-attended, in spite of the inhospitable weather. However, prior to beginning the march, program planners had so many speakers with passionate, inspiring stories that participants were kept standing in one place for two hours. The speaking program was so long that many participants either left or started the march on their own. It got to the point that attendees were groaning each time yet another speaker was introduced. This is a disservice to the attendees and the speakers. Many, due to time or transportation constraints, had to forgo the march, including myself.
I hope future planners will consider that attendees are there primarily to participate in the march, showing solidarity and a making a statement of unity. Standing for two hours is hard on everyone -- children, adults and seniors.
Yes, speeches are an excellent way to get the crowd excited and inspired, and definitely have their place and purpose in such an event; however, a half an hour or so would do — certainly not more than an hour. Other marches had television media following and interviewing marchers along the way, hearing their voices and concerns — a great idea!
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Here’s looking forward to next year’s and future marches — each bigger and better!