Millions took to the streets in cities across the country and the globe this weekend and here in Newark, where 1,000 men, women and youth marched, demanding equal treatment and social and political change. And this year’s burgeoning #metoo movement brought extra energy to the Delaware march, with a robust group of marchers chanting slogans and carrying handmade signs saying, ‘Women can do better,’ and ‘Never remain silent.’
The rally kicked of Saturday morning with a gathering at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark, followed by what became the second annual Women’s March. Many participants wore the now famous pink hats, carrying posters and handmade signs that took aim at President Trump and his administration and demanding action on issues like DACA, improved international diplomacy, racism, and constitutional policies.
Streets in the City of Newark remained open to regular traffic and off-limits for the Women’s March, so protesters were relegated to walking two-by-two on narrow residential sidewalks. The route eventually made its way up to the campus of the University of Delaware, where several cars honked in a show of support for the marchers.
Linda Dean, a 67 year-old Wilmingtonian, marched with friends in Washington, DC, last year but decided to stay local this year. She walked for a variety of reasons, but top on her list was to show her support for women as political candidates in Delaware and to bring attention to legislation important to women. “I am fed up with the lies, the treason and the disrespect of our women,” she said.
But Dean also felt uplifted by the marches. “One thing that struck us last year and this year as well is the kindness displayed by everybody who is here. There are men, women, children, and yes there is a lot of protesting, but there is a lot of joy as well.”
Women at the Women’s March in Newark said they have decided to take back the conversation and plan to mobilize their effort to fight for real change and real justice. Newark resident Penny Lehrer walked to commemorate the year that has passed and to take stock of where women are today. “It’s just getting to the point where we really need to make our voices heard, and this is one way to do that.” The 66-year-old also expressed that she thinks women’s issues are not being sufficiently addressed in Washington. “We need to identify that women matter and that there is a lot of injustice for everyone.”