A large crowd gathered at Public Safety Memorial Park on Jan. 20, marking the second anniversary of the Women’s March in Mobile. They held signs supporting a wide range of issues, including women’s rights, education and migration.
Chant Leader Holly Horn, a sophomore at Spring Hill College, said, “It was definitely a great turn out.” When asked if she thought the march was successful, Horn stated, “Protests are like boiling pots because you put all these people together, and they come together and find things that they can work together on, things that they can change...We will bring big change, and we’ve done that.”
There were booths set up around the park for various local organizations supporting migration and LGBTQ youth. Three women spoke, sharing powerful stories of how far women have come, but how much further they have yet to go. One of those speakers was Tabitha Isner, a congressional candidate for the state of Alabama. A chant that echoed through the park was “power to the polls.” It was emphasized that change is made through local elections. Another speaker was Julia Coccaro, a high school student from Spanish Fort who protested her school’s reading list of controversial and biased material.
These two women were just some of the march's impactful speakers. Women and men marched around the park chanting a variety of phrases, including, “Women united will never be defeated.” SHC senior Mary Helen Jones shared her motivation to attend this march. She stated, “I made a vow to myself in the past few years that I would never stand idly by in the face of injustice. There is so much oppression that happens to women still in the year 2018. It is important that we strive for change. The Women’s March is not just about marching-- it is about running to make a difference in this world.”
This is the second year Mobile has hosted the Women’s March. Mariah Weinand started the Mobile march last year when she was an SHC senior. When asked if the first march was successful, she said, “Definitely a success, but not because of the huge number of people that came, but because of the amount of love that was shared.”
The event did face some challenges, such as transportation and exposure. Holly Horn mentioned SHC had buses to bring students to the march last year, but not this year. Although there were some obstacles, this year’s crowd still multiplied in size.