CASTLETON, Vt. (WCAX) Hundreds in our region joined thousands of people across the world in protesting gender inequality on Saturday for the fourth annual Women’s March.
Vermont’s Women’s March 2020 looked slightly different than previous ones. Marchers took their message indoors for the first time in Vermont since the global movement kicked off in 2017. A few hundred people met inside Castleton University’s Fine Arts Center for the three-hour event.
Some things remained the same, like the energy and the causes people were advocating for.
Cassidy Wells told WCAX News she was there in support of LGBTQ rights and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Middlebury College students Ev Berger-Wolf, Bess Gramling and Edyth Moldow said they’re passionate about reproductive rights, equal pay and female representation in STEM.
While the crowd focused on women’s issues, they also highlighted the struggles of other groups of people, and they ways they connect.
“Climate change specifically impacts women and women of color because they are in the most marginalized positions so we need to uplift everybody,” said Heather Stevenson.
The keynote speaker, Pennsylvania Representative Summer Lee, emphasized the importance of intersectional activism.
“Put on your marching shoes. Put on your boxing gloves and say 'How can I fight here with you today? Because my freedom, my liberation is inextricably linked to yours. Because I can't be free if you're not free,’” Lee said. “Now is time to say ‘How we do we listen to our sisters of color, our sisters who are LGBTQ, how do we listen to our poor sisters and how do we now make a space that centers them?’”
Activists said they left the Women’s March feeling inspired. “The representative's speech just now. That just blew me away,” said Berger-Wolf.
“It was amazing. The point about how we need to change not only the people that are in politics but how we run politics is just an incredible thought to have,” said Gamling.
Some of the partners of the Women’s March 2020 include Migrant Justice, Castleton Indivisible, the ACLU of Vermont, and the Rutland-area NAACP.