With plans well under way for the Women’s March in Washington the day after the inauguration and “sister” marches being organized all over the U.S. and abroad, it seemed like Cleveland would be left out just two weeks ago.
Then two Case Western Reserve graduate students, Claudia Pasma and Laura Seagraves, stepped up. With no experience organizing such an event, they pulled the permits, planned the march route, lined up speakers and performers, rented port-a-potties, and promoted on social media and via old-fashioned flyers.
They were prepared to see perhaps a couple of thousand show up. Instead, 15,000 packed Public Square on an unseasonably warm, sunny Saturday morning and fell in line to parade north to Lakeside, past City Hall and the Free Stamp, south down E. 9th and back down Superior to Public Square where more speakers wrapped up the event.
Both Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (Oh-11) and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (Oh-09) spoke and led off the parade, along with state rep. Nickie Antonio. Other speakers included Mallory McMaster from Preterm and NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, Gail Sands from the Cleveland branch of the National Council of Jewish Women and Margaret Mitchell from the YWCA. Music was provided by the local acoustic duo of Eve ‘N’ Stephen.
The event, of course, was convened to speak out for women’s rights and women’s value, something that’s been dismissed and demeaned by the new president. The event was a profusion of clever and heart-felt homemade signs, toted by men, women, children and even drag queens. Unlike in Trumpworld, all were welcome here!
View the PHOTOSTREAM here.