Live at 6 | Syracuse Women’s March
By Zachary Levine SYRACUSE, N.Y. — This year’s CNY Rising Women’s March in Syracuse wasn’t comparable in size to the one in Washington, but the issues people were fighting for were universal nationwide.
Even though the walk was only two blocks, one year into President Trump’s first term, the voices of opposition were as loud as ever here in Central New York.
This year’s march was part of a larger weekend of events organized by New Feminists for Justice and Women’s Ties. The weekend commemorated “the first anniversary of the historic Women’s March on Washington, DC, and Syracuse, NY,” as described on the organizers’ Facebook event. Last year’s march in Downtown Syracuse drew over 2,000 participants.
The two-block walk started off with a series of speeches from event organizers and local politicians on the back porch of Laci’s Tapas Bar. Speakers included Former US Congressional Candidate Coleen Deacon, who was in attendance on behalf of Governor Cuomo, and Current State Senate Candidate Rachel May. Deacon currently serves as the governor’s Regional Director for Central New York, a position she took up after losing the in the 2016 election against incumbent John Katko.
Many of the marchers dawned long, white “Rachel May for State Senate” signs. One marcher proudly displayed a sign proclaiming: “Shame on Katko.” While John Katko may have been the focus of some scrutiny, President Donald Trump was subject to much more. A diverse array of signs with anti-Trump messages were hard to miss on Saturday.
Volunteers from local chapters of multiple national organizations were out in full force at the march. Clipboards passed around through the crowd solicited donations for Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter. A small group of women wore hot pink “Planned Parenthood” t-shirts over their long-sleeve layers.
The march route followed Hawley Avenue in the Northside neighborhood of Syracuse, departing Laci’s Tapas Bar and ending to ArtRage, a local gallery, which featured live music and poetry as marchers arrived. According to one of the event organizers, the march was denied police protection, so the already-narrow Hawley Avenue was open to car traffic at the time of the walk. Multiple vehicles turned around or followed behind the last of the marchers as they tried to make their way east towards N. Crouse Ave. and Lodi Street.
This brisk morning was also filled with a strong sense of familial bonds.
“I hope to see all of my community members, men and women, girls and boys, speaking up for what they believe in, which is equality for all humans,” said Cindy Squillace, a Syracuse resident.
Squillace thinks some of the biggest issues people are marching for are gender equality and the MeToo movement.
Pat Button, 80, brought her daughter with her to the march. “[My daughter and I] marched together in 1967 to protest the Vietnam war,” she said.” I’m glad [my daughter is] here today.”
When asked if she would ever consider marching in Washington, she said, “I’ll march right in my community. This is my community, and I support every single march across this country.”