By SHERI GASSAWAY
Thousands of St. Louisans are expected to hit the streets Saturday, Jan. 20 for the second St. Louis Women’s March to further the advancement of gender equality and women’s issues in politics and local actions.
The St. Louis march, which takes place the day before the national Women’s March in Las Vegas, will begin at 10 a.m. in downtown St. Louis. It will begin at Union Station, proceed down Market Street and end at the Old Courthouse.
The Las Vegas event, called Power to the Polls, will launch a national voter registration tour targeting swing states to register new voters and to channel the energy and activism of the Women’s March into tangible strategies and concrete wins in 2018.
MARCH. ACT. VOTE.
The theme of the local march is “March. Act. Vote. in honor of your own truth,” said Lauren Davis, one of the event’s organizers.
“Our mission is two-fold,” Davis said. “It’s to stand side-by-side in solidarity realizing that we all face unique circumstances with different objectives and to make sure people are inspired to take action and vote.”
There will be two stages for rallies after the march: one on the west steps of the Old Courthouse and another near the New Courthouse. A list of guest speakers was not available as of Labor Tribune press time.
NEW ORGANIZING GROUP
Originally, it was unclear whether or not there would be a St. Louis march, Davis said. The official St. Louis March Facebook page was not created until Jan. 6.
“The group planning this year’s march is different from last year,” Davis said. “After finding out that there was an absence of planning, a diverse group of us jumped into action and formed several committees to get the work done.”
HISTORY OF NATIONAL WOMEN’S MARCH
The idea for the Women’s March on Washington originated shortly after the 2016 election by a diverse group of women who were unhappy with Donald Trump’s win and trying to figure out how move forward while facing national and international concern and fear.
Those feelings were sparked by the campaign rhetoric of the election cycle in which Trump took aim at women, immigrants, the African American and Latino communities, those with diverse religious faiths, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault.
The concept for the Jan. 21, 2017 march started from a single post on Facebook and quickly grew into a mobilized, nationwide effort, which resulted in 673 sister marches across the world that attracted nearly five million people.
Like the national event, last year’s St. Louis march unfolded in the same manner, attracting an estimated 20,000 women, men and children.
TO GET INVOLVED
For more information on the St. Louis march or to get involved, visit stlwomensmarch.com.