By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
Answering a groundswell call to action, DC 37 members will join tens of thousands from across the nation at the Women’s March on Washington Jan. 21, the day after president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“This will be one of the largest rallies to date to advance equality and human rights for all women, minorities and immigrants,” said Henry Garrido, executive director of DC 37. “We are sending a message: We are vigilant and we are watching Trump and his cabinet to ensure that our freedoms, rights and protections are not eroded or violated. We rally in peace to stand for equality and our democracy. The world is watching.”
The rally is a response to the concerns and uneasiness that Trump and his cabinet choices evoke. It is not an anti-Trump protest, organizers said. DC 37 members and retirees will join march organizers Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International USA, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the NAACP, OXFAM, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Organization for Women, and other grassroots groups. Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte are honorary co-chairs of the event.
“Our Constitution does not begin with ‘I, the President.’ It begins with, ‘We, the People,’” Steinem said in a statement. “I am proud to be one of thousands who will come to Washington to make clear that we will keep working for a democracy in which we are linked as human beings, not ranked by race or gender or class or any other label.”
Trump’s election victory sparked mass protests and demonstrations in cities and on college campuses. Despite losing the popular race by nearly 3 million votes— the largest difference in history—Trump won the Electoral College vote on Dec. 19.
Walthene Primus, DC 37 secretary, Women’s Committee chair and Local 957 president said, “Everyone is invited to participate on Jan 21. We’re marching on Washington to protect human rights, dignity and justice and to tell the new administration and Congress loud and clear we expect them to protect everyone’s human rights.”
Tens of thousands are expected to converge on the National Mall for the Women’s March on Washington. Buses will leave from union headquarters in Lower Manhattan early Jan 21 and return that evening. For more information and to reserve a seat, please call the DC 37 Political Action department at 212-815-1550.
For those unable to travel to Washington, simultaneous marches on Jan. 21 will be in cities from Boston to Oakland. In New York City, demonstrators will rally at the United Nations headquarters in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 11 a.m. and march to Trump Plaza at 5th Ave. and 56th Street.