Thousands gathered on Jan. 19 in Seattle to participate in the third annual Womxn’s March. Among the crowd, Eastside residents were seen holding signs and marching for equal rights.
Members of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) of Redmond attended the march for the third year in a row. In the past, MAPS has helped organize panels and served as an Eastside hub at the rally.
Executive director of MAPS-AMEN(American Muslim Empowerment Network) Aneelah Afzali said she was excited to march this year. Ahead of the event, she said she was looking forward to the diversity of panels.
“I think it’s important for anyone and everyone who cares about the soul of our country and the direction we are going,” said Afzali. “We are at the wave of difference. We have the opportunity to change the country in a positive way.”
MAPS youth Sabreen Tuku said she marched because she is a female and it will be her world one day.
“This is so much more than a [women’s march]. It’s about being anyone who isn’t the majority,” said Tuku. “If you are the minority, you are welcome. If you are the majority, you are welcome. It’s a matter of having a community and being together and enjoying each other.”
This year, the Womxn’s March theme was “building power.” The weekend included three days of activism, the traditional rally along with workshops and training sessions. The march began Saturday morning with a rally in Cal Anderson Park in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The speaker lineup included local women of color who serve as spiritual leaders, community activists and a poet.
During the rally at the park on Saturday morning, Dr. Rev. Kelle Brown, lead pastor of Plymouth Church Seattle urged attendees to join the fight and to be unwilling to rest until freedom, equity, peace and liberation are a reality for all people.
“As long as there is breath in your body, there is the ability to turn things around, ” said Brown. “Together we are marching. Together we are protesting. We are challenging the status quo and speaking truth to power.”
Miles Vernasco of Woodinville attended the Womxn’s March for the first time last weekend. He said he was raised by strong women throughout his life.
“My sister and mom played an important role in changing who I was as a person,” said Vernasco. “Coming and supporting them is really important.”
Woodinville resident, Kendra Housough said it’s a powerful time for people to show what they believe in and show that are events like the rally.
“Even if it’s not, at this moment, changing laws. Just showing how many people disagree with what’s going on in the country [is enough]” said Housough.