Huntsville’s Women’s March: #PowerToThePolls

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Huntsville’s Women’s March: #PowerToThePolls

Zachary Johnson, Writer

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Huntsville hosted its very own Women’s March over the weekend in concert with Women’s Marches across the country. This march comes a year after the previous march in Washington, D.C. in 2017. The Huntsville march was held in Big Spring Park on Saturday, featuring speakers like state representative Laura Hall and Bob Jones student Sarah Arafat. The march highlighted a range of issues, featuring everything from deportation and mass incarceration to healthcare and green energy. The main focus, though, was voting. 

“This year’s Women’s March’s #PowerToThePolls campaign is launching on our one-year anniversary this weekend, focuses on combating voter suppression and making sure that all people who are eligible to vote—from formerly incarcerated people to individuals who don’t have a photo ID—can easily exercise that right,” Jessica Huff, an organizer for the Women’s March, said, “We want to concentrate on encouraging women to run for office in 2018. and beyond.” Big Spring Park was covered with different booths advertising campaigns for both state representative and senate seats. There was also a huge push for voter registration in general, regardless of party affiliation. 

While Huntsville isn’t really known for activist spirits, the March had a huge turnout, which Huff attributes to the recent Doug Jones election and more people getting involved in politics after the 2016 election. “Last year, my mother (a teacher), 2 of my daughters, some friends, and myself all attended the Women’s March in D.C.  Women around the country were feeling lost and fearful for our country.  By the end of that march, we had a camaraderie, a sense of power, and found our voices,” Huff stated.

This year’s Women’s March was attended by a range of people, from toddlers all the way up to adults and the elderly. Every marcher, regardless of background, was united under a single common goal. “The Women’s March is about bringing people together for one cause: advocation for legislation concerning human rights and most specifically women’s rights. I really hope that by marching around the nation that people realize that in a democracy if this many people want this type of change like equal pay or equal treatment at work, then it is something worth bringing to the floor of Congress and pushing forward.” said marcher Judson Ennis, a junior at Randolph. “The biggest thing that brought me to the March was common decency. I just want my friends and family to finally live in [a] world where their opinions matter and they are respected regardless of what they have to say or do.”

Huntsville was not alone in the march. Other marches were held across the country, from DC to Vegas to Nashville and many others. “Women are a powerful force when we work together, and by being quiet for so long, we’ve also been ignored. I hope future generations benefit from women standing up for their voices now. I hope they are able to look back at this movement as a time when women said ‘we aren’t going to be silent anymore’ and hold it up in significance along with the times of Susan B Anthony. She helped get women the right to vote, but I think this movement is about getting women to truly utilize that right in ways we never have before,” said Huntsville resident Pamela Hailey, who marched in the Las Vegas Women’s March, “It’s a movement many won’t understand until they witness it first hand, and it’s going to change things.”

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