WASHINGTON – A bus has been reserved and many women will be departing in the early morning hours Jan. 21 to head to Washington, D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington.
The Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots effort comprised of dozens of independent coordinators at the state level. The effort is helmed by four national co-chairs and a national coordinating committee. The march is set to begin at 10 a.m.
Per the website for the event:
“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us - immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault - and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.”
Norwich’s organizer for the bus trip to Washington D.C., Eileen Andrews, said that for her, this march is not a political thing.
“What I'm finding is women, mostly over 40, a lot over 50 are interested. And they just … Women’s rights have come a long way since Susan B. Anthony. We’ve come a long way, but we’re still not there. We still have to hope that there isn’t some federal ban against some community clinic we all may use.”
Andrews continued, “Transgender people are going to wonder if they have to expose their genitalia when they use the bathroom. This is a real fear in North Carolina.”
“For me, it's about trying to gather women together to go to D.C. to let the new President know that we’re standing out here to support women’s rights, and minorities rights, and everyone’s rights,” said Andrews. “I care about all humans. It’s what I believe that is a united front to show the new President that we are here, and we will make sure he does not take away anyone’s rights. We will support you, President Trump, as long as you don’t take away anyone’s rights.”
Andrews said that both women and men will be making the trip to Washington D.C. from all over the country. There are also localized events in bigger cities. Women’s Marches will take place in those cities at the same time as the March in Washington, to show solidarity. Some cities holding their own marches include Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, New York City and San Francisco.
The bus Andrews has organized will first pick people up at 1 a.m. in Oneonta, 2 a.m. in Norwich, 3. a.m. in Binghamton, and two women who’ve signed up will be picked up in southern Pennsylvania.
The bus will return at approximately 1 a.m., Jan. 22.
Andrews said there will be meal breaks both on the way to Washington, and the way back.
Once the bus hits Washington D.C., Andrews said she feels the group will stay together during the march, but there will be a designated pick up spot by the bus in the event anyone goes off on their own.
“There's going to be different degrees of why people are there,” said Andrews. “For me? We’re all humans we all need the same rights. I want to make sure my children can marry who they love. There is a huge group going representing solely gay rights. And that’s okay. But myself personally, we need to represent all humans.”
Andrews continued, “Trump supporters might be there to think this is anti-Trump. But it’s not.”
There are 20 spots left, and must be filled as soon as possible.
Andrews said there are folks who are not going, but who are buying seats to sponsor so that a women who may want to go but may not be able to afford it, can make the trip.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a seat for someone else should also contact Andrews as soon as possible.
To reserve a seat for yourself, your family, or group, call/text 226-7994, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks and PayPal are accepted.
“I want attendees to take away that there is power in numbers and when everyone believes in, and works toward a goal, anything can happen,” said Andrews.