"Decidedly Political" Riverside Women's March Draws Thousands From Around IE
The Inland Empire saw its second annual Women's March on Saturday, where roughly 3,000 people marched through Downtown Riverside chanting and carrying signs. KVCR's Benjamin Purper was there, and has this report.
The 2018 Riverside Women's March began on the steps of the Riverside Courthouse, as the Resistance Reival Women's Chorus sang songs of hope and protest to a crowd of thousands.
Marchers of all ages held signs declaring their support for a range of movements and causes. Many signs expressed support for the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, calling for an end to widespread sexual harrasment against women. And the crowd's energy was decidely political.
Eleanor Kalnin is a local paralegal, and an organizer for the Riverside Women's March. She spoke on the steps of the Riverside Courthouse. "Today," she said, "we re-commit ourselves to standing up for those who have historically come under attack, and are now the most vulnerable to the policies of this administration."
Kalnin spoke about what she called the "political divisiveness" of the Trump administration, and emphasized the need for women to go to the polls in 2018.
Kalnin also addressed one of the major themes of this year's march: inclusion. Women's Marches around the country last year were criticized for privileging certain women over others - but this year, at least in Riverside, the organizers put issues of inclusion and intersectionality at the forefront of the march.
"We must create a society in which women - including black women, including native women, including poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer, and trans women, are free to care and nurture their families however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments, free from structural impediments," Kalnin said.
The event featured speakers, marchers, and musicians from all of those groups, as well as labor unions and environmental organizations. There was an also area set aside for local activists groups, political candidates, and information on how to register to vote.