ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Last year’s women’s march started a movement that generated change at the local and national level, as people took to the streets all over the world to make their voices heard.
On Saturday, it took place again including in Albany. The state capital was bustling with energy, women and men coming together and marching to show they won’t be silenced.
While last year’s theme was to denounce President Trump’s and his proposed agenda the day after his inauguration, this year it was to encourage people to get out and vote in the midterm elections in the fall. It has turned into a movement, getting people who had never rallied before to engage in politics.
In doing so, they promoted all human rights, including gender, sex, race and religious rights.
“We’re worried about the future of our country,” said Sara Salitan-Thiell, who was in attendance from Poestenkill, N.Y.
“We have to show girl power to men,” said Gracie Stephens of New Hampshire.
“We’re in a terrible bind right now,” said Nancy Lazinsky, who lives in Saugerties, N.Y.
Throughout the rally women and men chanted about what they want to change and celebrated what they’ve achieved since the first march.
People of all genders, ages, races and sexual orientations stood together as one calling for change, “This is what democracy looks like.”
Also they recognized the #METOO Movement that’s been happening in recent months, as people are feeling more comfortable to share their stories of sexual harassment and abuse.
“Everybody thought oh this resistance will fizzle out, well it’s not fizzled out, we’re still here, we’re going to keep pushing and that’s kind of what we want to show,” said Castina Charles, Women’s March Albany co-organizer. “I think no one expected the kind of how big that event was and it kind of birthed a lot of the resistance.”
The energy of the rally fueled the momentum they’ve gained and pushed a desire to move forward.
This year the issues of sexual abuse and harassment came to the forefront after the recent revelation these past few months. They spoke out about getting justice for survivors and ensuring human rights for all.
“It feels wonderful, it really, everybody should get out,” Lazinsky said.
“I feel like women should have more respect,” said Liliana Jones of Delmar.
“We should still respect women’s rights,” said Lizzy Cable, also of Delmar.
Their moms wanted to teach them about standing up for themselves at a young age.
“When they grow up they can think back okay this is what you do, you have to put your actions into words,” said Lizzy’s mom Jamie.
Others like Bob O’Neil marched last year, and felt it was important to rally alongside women.
“If you love your wife, you’re going to support her,” O’Neil said.
But, protesting is just the half of it. Voting during the midterm elections is where change can actually happen and that’s the message everyone is going home with; to vote and to keep the momentum going.
“We stand here to say proudly, and loudly and boldly to Donald Trump and the republicans that yes we still can,” Charles said.
“I think that we are reminding our government that we are the people and that what matters to us matters,” Salitan-Thiell said.