Women’s March Nevada
On the morning of January 21, 2017, I arrived an hour and a half early in Downtown Las Vegas for the Women’s March on Washington’s Sister march in Downtown Las Vegas. I volunteered to photograph the Nevada march for the Women’s March Archive Project and planned to capture the moment from beginning to end.
The sun was out in full force inviting the marchers to shed their jackets and show their elaborate costumes, and prepare for the half a mile march to the courthouse. As the crowd of women, men, and children gathered, we felt an unspoken solidarity with each other as we took pictures of protest signs we connected with and applauded the women who wore suffragette costumes.
We marched from the LLama lot to the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse chanting, “Stronger together we won’t fall. Justice, peace and equality for all.” As the event had drawn an estimated 15,000 people, it took a while for people to gather outside the courthouse to hear the speakers. I managed to find a space near the front and listened to several Congress members and public servants, including Dina Titus and Ruben Kihuen, and Stephanie Streuber, the President of the Southern Nevada NOW chapter. Their speeches rallied and encouraged the crowd to contact our representatives and hold them accountable for the decisions they make for their constituents.
It was a peaceful event that drew thousands of women. It must be commended that the peaceful march was due largely to the organizers of the event. Weeks prior, a Facebook page was created with information of the venue, a map of the walk, ADA Accommodations, parking, merchandise, and a liaison for the Women’s March Archive Project. From the beginning, it was made clear it was not going to be a protest against the incoming administration, but a march for women’s reproductive rights and other social injustices marchers felt needed to be heard.
During the march, I made a deliberate decision to remember what was said to me on the days leading up to January 21:
“Young people today need to take a civics class. Protests don’t work.”
“Why did you march? It doesn’t change anything.”
“Waste of time.”
While it may not seem like we made a direct impact on delaying the incoming of the new administration, I came away energized, with an understanding that the hopeless feeling is fleeting, and a revealing look that the American people will not accept the restrictive policies and abuse of power without fighting and resisting. What the march provided was a safe place for people to share their fears, doubts, support, and a feeling of validation that the concerns of people of color, of the marginalized, and of women could be in danger from this administration. To walk away from the experience knowing we were not alone in fighting for our futures was one of the most powerful motivations to contribute and take part in this generation’s political activism.
If you are interested in getting active in women's right's yourself, check out these useful websites:
Gov Track (to find out who your representatives are)
Women’s March Archive Project (must have a Facebook account to access)
Nevada NOW (must have a Facebook account to access)
Women’s March - Nevada (must have a Facebook account to access)
Women’s March (main page)