Signs and chanting filled Old Town Square Saturday morning during the fourth annual Women’s March.
The square became a sea of people as they joined in chanting catchy phrases such as “no means no, I’m not your baby,” and “women’s rights are human’s rights.” The marchers’ signs varied from humorous quotes such as “Hex the Patriarchy” to the powerful single-word statement, “Vote.”
One marcher, a little girl no older than three, held a sign that simply read, “I love u.”
All kinds of organizations, from Moms Demand Action to The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, made it out to the march to promote their causes while standing in solidarity with women around the world.
After several rounds of chanting and short speeches from the organizers, the crowd took to the streets and marched a little less than a block to the rally venue, Wave.
This was a much shorter march than in previous years. Marchers trecked from the Keeper of the Plains to City Hall during their first year. Last year, the march ran from City Hall to Wave.
Although the march itself was brief, the rally that insued at the downtown event venue was where the real party got going. With signature cocktails called the impeachment mimosa and pussy power — a pink lemonade drink — the crowd had the tone set for speaker after speaker, who discussed topics concerning all facets of issues that women face both nationally and locally. Local performer Popular local singer Jenny Wood also performed at the event.
A throughline for the speakers was the need to uplift other women.
Danielle Johnson, assistant director of Wichita State’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, said that 2020 should be the year of “I said what I said,” where women should uplift each other in their everyday lives.
“What are you doing to help make the change to make sure we get there together? It all takes all these different fights, but for the women running ragged, I see you,” Johnson said during her remarks. “I see you at every meeting, at every table, taking your kids to school, doing what you need to do. You are seen, you are respected, you are loved, you are upheld.
Afterwards, Johnson gave The Sunflower a follow-up interview.
“I see a lot of WSU students here, and I think they’re really wanting to understand how to be more empowered and how to make moves, and so hopefully, [the march] can see more WSU women be a part of the planning committee,” she said.
Johnson said she knows how busy students are, but that she hopes to see even more students turn out for the Women’s March next year.