By: Sedona Ortega
Under the mid-afternoon sun, a crowd formed at Prescott, Arizona’s Courthouse Square. Saturday, January 19th, 2019 marked the third annual Women’s March on Washington. The first year of the women’s march was a direct response to the inauguration of President Trump. Every year after there has also been a march in cities and towns all across the country and abroad. Prescott has had their own march for the past three years as well. This march represents Yavapai County and many people come to take part. On January 19th, locals and people from surrounding areas came to Prescott to gather and march for this cause.
This was a protest for equality and equal rights. Primarily for women, but truly for everyone. A lot of other controversial issues were expressed as well including belief in science, LGBTQ rights, the environment, immigration, gun violence, abortion, and definitely many people sharing their opinions of Trump. But, most of all, this was a time when everyone came together to march for a greater cause.
If you were there, you would know that there was also a group of counter-protesters. However, this is an important part of every democracy. Everyone who showed up at the courthouse on this day was practicing their First Amendment Right to peacefully assemble. There was a tension that could be felt between the two sides of protesters, but this was a very peaceful protest of everyone there sharing their opinions united. Nothing escalated into violence.
People began to show up at the courthouse an hour and a half before the march began. More and more people came until the events began at 1pm. Here, a flash mob was performed by a group of women. There were a few speakers that spoke to the large crowd and everyone sang songs in unison. Then they were off! People began to walk around the courthouse and the stream of people reached about halfway around the square. If you were in the crowd of people, you were surrounded by a positive and empowering vibe from everyone. You could hear songs being sung, chanting and cheering. Some of these chants included, “Love not Hate Makes America Great”, and songs like “This Little Light of Mine” were sung. Everyone was hugging and smiling! People were excited to be out there marching passionately for something very important to them.
The Daily Courier estimated that “more than 1,000 participants” showed up at the event on January 19th. That is less than previous years, but still a very good turn out. Some signs read, “Women’s rights are human rights”, “We’re all in this together”, “Science is real”, “Hope not fear, Love not hate”, and “The Revolution Will Not Be Violent”.
Parents with young children, teenagers, elders, and people of all backgrounds and genders showed up at the courthouse to attend the event. Overall, Saturday was a day that our community showed up to express their beliefs about many of the controversial issues that are facing our country and world.