Did the Women Marches have desired impact?
Myrna Lloyd, Bajan- American, one of several Caribbean-Americans that participated in last Saturday’s Women March on Washington, endorsed media reports that the event was “an overwhelming success, as far as the crowd size mattered,” but expressed concern with the event’s impact.
“To call the event a march is a misnomer,” Lloyd said. “The crowd of possibly over 500,000 people, assembled on the assigned 1.2 mile route for what should have been the march, was so huge, that the it could only move three or four feet forward and backward. So, what should have been a march was really a gigantic, several hours long rally, featuring very passionate speakers.”
Lloyd expressed concern whether the thousands of women, and men, that rallied in Washington, and other US cities, including Miami, last Saturday, had “a meaningful impact” on the Trump administration regarding the issues the women rallied for. “Women marched for issues like equal pay, family leave, domestic violence, for pro-abortion choices and securing Planned Parenthood and women clinics. However, after this mass showing of women, one of the first actions Trump took on Monday was to sign an anti-abortion executive order. This is very frustrating, like a slap in the face. Now, women need to ensure last week’s rally wasn’t just a one-off event for show. For women, and other Americans to ensure the rights that constitutionally belong to them are implemented, there have to be several more rallies, more often. We don’t have to travel to Washington DC to rally. People can effectively rally in the cities where they live, including right here in South Florida.”
It has been estimated that some 10,000 men, women, and children, turned out for the Women Rally of South Florida at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater on Saturday afternoon. Among the Caribbean-Americans at this rally, Veronica Lindsay, 32, a Miami librarian, who said the Miami rally was more directly “opposed to Trump’s inauguration than for women rights. I saw more ant-trump signs and posters, than posters rallying for women rights.”
However, another Caribbean American, Megan Rochester, 30, a nurse at Jackson South Hospital, said “The rally may have seemed more anti-Trump, but several of the issues highlighted were issues Trump opposes, for which we were rallying to be considered by his administration. These issues affect South Floridians, and include healthcare rights, immigrant rights, student’s right, voter’s rights, worker’s rights, environmental rights, and, of course, women rights.”
The anti-abortion executive order Trump signed bans US government funding to international non-government organizations that offer a wide range of family planning and reproductive health options’ if these include supporting abortion.
Dr. Grichen Phillipe, doctor at a North Miami woman’s clinic, says. “While this order doesn’t ban abortion in the US, or defunds Planned Parenthood, it does signal that the Trump administration could, as was hinted during the election campaign, support defunding Planned Parenthood, and make it difficult for women to have the right to choose.”