People of all backgrounds from across the area will gather in Williamsburg on January 20 for a peaceful march in support of equity, tolerance, and justice for all people.
The March will begin at 3:00 p.m. Saturday in front of the Colonial Courthouse on Duke of Gloucester Street.
Scheduled speakers include Elaine Luria, Democratic candidate in the second Congressional district, Mike Mullin, delegate in Virginia's 93rd district, and Ryan Sawyers, Democratic candidate in the first Congressional district.
The event marks the first anniversary of the Women's March, held on January 21, 2017, when five million people participated in cities and towns on all seven continents. A sister march held in Williamsburg drew nearly 700 people on that day last year.
"The Women's March was a galvanizing experience for so many of us," said Heather Meaney-Allen, an organizer of WJCC Indivisible, which is co-sponsoring this year's march. "It was inspiring to see so many women, along with their partners and families, standing up for the American values of freedom and justice for all."
The march launched a grassroots movement of unprecedented progressive action. Many local groups, including Common Ground Williamsburg, another co-sponsor of this year's march, were born in the weeks after the 2017 march as both first-time organizers and seasoned activists came together to convert that enthusiasm into a powerful action network.
"We saw people who had never been politically active before turn out for the march-and then continue showing up at meetings, shared suppers, and other events," said MK Sizemore, an organizer with Common Ground. "Together, we've built a community of passionate activists who are making a real difference, both here in Williamsburg and far beyond. We've organized, we've canvassed, and we've had some astonishing victories."
Groups like WJCC Indivisible and Common Ground are part of the nationwide "Resistance" that has been instrumental in pushing back against the policies of the current administration, including defeating attacks on the Affordable Care Act and fueling a resounding victory in Virginia's elections this past fall. In the House of Delegates, where Republicans previously held a 66-34 majority, 15 seats flipped to Democratic control-11 of those by women who unseated Republican men.
"This year, people from all walks of life have chosen to no longer stay quiet, make a change, and lead," said Elizabeth Polster, another organizer of Common Ground. "This week's march will give us another opportunity to stand together in solidarity and keep working toward progress in our community."
The mission of the 2018 March is to bring people together to reaffirm a shared commitment to issues that deeply impact all people, including women's rights, immigrant rights, worker rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, environmental rights, rights for all races, and religious and intellectual freedom. The March will celebrate the core American values of freedom and democracy at a time when they are threatened.
While led by women, all are welcome to attend the march.
Follow the Facebook event at: https://www.facebook.com/events/2110470699176091
This item was posted by a community contributor.