Solidarity march and rally held in Columbia on anniversary of first women’s march

The march and rally featured six speakers and two musical performances.
Citizens guide marchers along the route of the Solidarity March in Columbia on January 20.

On the one-year anniversary of the first women’s march on Washington and in general opposition to President Trump’s agenda, almost 2,000 people gathered in downtown Columbia for a solidarity march and rally Saturday afternoon.

The march, organized by the Mid-Missouri Solidarity Network, and co-sponsored by 48 organizations from the Missouri area, began at the Boone County Courthouse and continued 10 blocks through the city of Columbia.

It also featured six speakers whose topics ranged from civil rights to the economy, education, the environment, foreign policy and healthcare. Two speakers spoke prior to the march and the remaining four spoke at the conclusion of the rally.

In comparison to last year, there were far more sponsors and organizations involved in the march. However, fewer marchers attended.

“We definitely had more people last year than this year, but the weather last year was amazing,” speaker Michela Skelton said. “[This year] it was a little bit colder, had a little bit of rain, but still the crowd was amazingly enthusiastic.”

Along with the speakers, the rally also featured two musical performances from the groups Violet and the Undercurrents and Decadent Nation.

“2017 was a year of nonstop resisting, and it's so hard to not be worn out and lose hope ,” said Violet Vonder Haar, lead singer of Violet and the Undercurrents. “But attending this event is a great reminder of why we have to stay strong. When so much of our personal freedom is at stake, we don't get to take a break. There is comfort and hope in knowing we're not in this alone. Resistance is a nonstop battle, and this march is a great reminder that people are still here and still working."

The rally had various voter registration booths set up, along with petitions to sign for various legislative causes around Missouri.

“We wanted to make sure that action was the center of the rally, and obviously getting people registered to vote and making people aware of their voting rights is a big part of that,” said Kate Canterbury, an organizer of the event from CoMo for Progress.

Many MU students attended the rally, including freshman Caitlin Kelleher. This was Kelleher’s first time attending a women’s march, because she was unable to attend last year.

“I went to the march because I believe in letting my voice and the voices of all women, races and gender be heard,” Kelleher said. “Young girls need to know they have the power to do anything they want and be anything they want in this lifetime. I believe that when people come together for a common goal, anything can be achieved.”

Edited by Skyler Rossi |

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