By Sarah Hendrix | Staff Writer
Gathered at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol, hundreds of people on Oʻahu rallied together on Saturday morning for the second annual Women’s March. At 10 a.m. the rally began where men, women and children stood together for a positive change. Natalia Hussey-Burdick, one of the speakers for this year’s Women’s March, opened with a thank you to every person who continues to show up and fight for a better future.
“I see you standing up every day for what you believe in,” Hussey-Burdick says. “For what we all believe in. Because this march isn’t just about one of us, we’re nothing alone. This march is about all of us coming together and fighting for a better future for our children.”
This year’s protest and signs surrounded itself around a unified rebuke for President Trump more than a voice for equality. Many protestors’ signs carried messages like “He Made America Hate Again,” “Love Trumps Hate,” “Dump Trump,” and “Free Melania”. Even among protestors, when asked why they were protesting this year a clear answer was their dislike of President Trump.
“I don’t like our president … he’s turning us into Nazi Germany,” says Maddie Silverman, who also attended the Honolulu Women’s March in 2017. “Last year was a very big turnout. This is a good turnout. … They weren’t expecting as many people as this even for today. But last year there were thousands.”
Even with the smaller turnout for this year’s rally, people were still in high spirits joining in a song of resistance together. The song “(I Can’t Keep) Quiet” written by Connie Lim and Adrianne Gonzalez was performed and hundreds of voices joined in singing. Lyrics such as, “I can’t keep quiet, no no no, a one woman riot, no no no, I can’t keep quiet for anyone, not anymore”.
For some, this was their first time ever attending the Women’s March. Elise Perez, 27, originally from Ventura, California explains why she chose to attend this year’s rally.
“I’d say that I’m here out of curiosity,” Perez said. “To take what I had heard the march was like and see what the reality of it actually is.”
Some of the organizations that were represented on Saturday morning were Domestic Violence Action Center, Sister District Project, Hawaiʻi Women in Film Making, Young Progressives Demanding Action (YPDA), Planned Parenthood and LGBT Caucus Hawaiʻi. Many organizations had booths set up inside the State Capitol offering information and alternative ways for people in Hawaiʻi to get involved in future events.
Cameron Sato was born and raised in Hawaiʻi Kai and currently works as a mechanical engineering graduate research assistant for UH Mānoa. He is also a legislative aid and community liaison to State Senator Stanley Chang, and was one of the representatives for YPDA at the rally.
YPDA originally started at UH Mānoa and was joined by KCC students. The movement was in response to Democrat Bernie Sanders running for president in 2016. Once the primary election was finished, YPDA wanted to continue momentum, so it created this organization so that students would continue to stay involved in politics.
“We want to engage people and make sure that people are involved,” Sato, said. “We started this organization to make sure that young people have a safe space to grow in the progressive movement.”
Sato recognizes the seriousness of getting young people engaged in politics. That it is crucial for the younger generation to get involved if they want to see a change in the future, or else the rich elite will continue to make decisions that do not benefit the working class.
“If we don’t change the current political climate that does not take care of working people, we will continue to see people like Donald Trump get elected,” Sato said.