Women’s march instills hope, pride

Written By Hannah Walden, Co-Copy Desk Chief

Marches like the Women’s March on Washington – Pittsburgh tend to fill me with a large array of feelings and emotions that can be difficult to translate from an experience to words. It feels like an array of emotion, from pride and inspiration for a better future, to feelings of anger towards groups and organizations that cause anguish on people, their families and communities; marches like these give people an opportunity to come together and support one another under a powerful and positive message.

Everyday, more and more stories of how the federal government and justice system have failed them time and time again. Human injustices seem to happen everyday in this country. Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are no exception.

Like previous years, many organizations and politicians attend the march and speak for a few minutes, rallying the people and generating name-to-face recognition to voters. While this may be partially a PR move, I appreciate candidates taking the time to come out on a cold January day to rally support for a cause that is important to so many people.

Something that simple can fill a person with pride for their communities and hope for a better tomorrow for themselves and their families, as I feel it during and after each political march or rally like this one.

For me, it was really nice to see returning faces on stage, such as Conor Lamb and Executive Director at Casa San José, Monica Ruiz-Caraballo, just to name a few; come out and show their support the area and people they serve tells a lot. I left the march feeling confident in my future because of the capable individuals we elected to help us and our communities.

As a Democrat, I love what the government is supposed to do for the people, but the power to hold the federal government accountable by the state and local governments is kick-ass. To see so many local elected officials, currently running candidates and everyday people  put their collective feet down to change the despicable political conditions we are all living in is more powerful than bigotry, racism, antisemitism and  every other form of hatred that is not welcome here.

It’s not just grown adults standing up, but teenagers and children as well. Children are more perceptive than they are credited, know some of the hardships others are facing and would rather march in the cold with Baby Trump balloons than stay inside and stay warm.

When I left my house an hour early that morning to cover this march, both my 50-year-old mother-in-law and 12-year-old sister-in-law were practically ready to go; without the usual yelling and reminding the 12-year-old to do any of the steps of getting ready. She understands the significance of marches like these and the basic political activism to march with a cardboard sign, that one voice could be snuffed out by the wrong people and that it is impossible to snuff out thousands of voices that refuse to be silenced.

So many families were in attendance of the march, carrying home-made signs and chanting along with their parents; for once “start them while they’re young” really does mean something good. I envy children whose parents are involved and bring their children to participate and witness an event such as this one.

The Women’s March on Washington – Pittsburgh fills me with many things, most prominently this year, it was hope and pride. I am hopeful for tomorrow and what it may bring from the hands of our locally elected leaders, and I will always feel Pittsburgh Pride in our strength and resilience.

In Pittsburgh, we build bridges, not walls.