Women’s March: #ThePussyGrabsBack in Samoan Fashion
Hundreds of thousands of women gathered in Manhattan New York today as with the rest of the world to stand in solidarity for women’s rights and in protest of President Trump’s inauguration yesterday. SUGA Taulesulu Olevia Yandall, 22 of the villages Afega and Vaiala, attended the rally today in New York. Yandall has been living in Manhattan for the past four years and is studying a politics, philosophy, and economics major at the King’s College in New York City. She writes about this special day she will never forget.
I joined the women’s march today to stand alongside what felt like the entirety of New York City as one united voice speaking up for those women who are robbed of their agency to free speech. I marched to represent the voice of our Pacific Island nations and small countries critically affected by Climate Change. And I marched with friends to simply show our strength in numbers. The prospect of being in a huge crowd with like-minded demonstrators from all over the nation (and the world), exercising a fundamental right that is denied to many people in other countries was electrifying.
It was estimated that around 400,000 people turned up today. We walked alongside groups of mothers dressed in pink and pushing baby strollers with their kids decked out in pink also. Rowdy processions of eccentric gays danced down the streets with their colorful posters of Putin carrying a baby Trump.
Marching bands played music while we sang; women of all colors, all religions, all countries, all in unison. I watched as even men – husbands, brothers, grandfathers, sons walked with loud voices alongside their women to show that an affront to the rights of women is an affront to the rights of all. Daughters, mothers, sisters, and grandmothers as old as 88 were amongst those who marched. I’m blessed to have witnessed it all and that God answered our prayers in keeping the protests peaceful.
The scenes on the streets of New York City this afternoon will be remembered and celebrated, not only as a tribute to the works and efforts of incredible feminists before us but also a call to action for all women today and tomorrow.
We march to remind America and the world that our democratic ideals are at stake if we idly sit by and enable Donald Trump’s bigotry, sexism, misogyny to be normalized. We cannot be silent. The world is watching. The future generations are watching.
And as we demonstrated out on these streets as a city and as a nation all over the country today, we teach our future generations the value of democracy and the freedom of expression. And more importantly that it can be done well and peacefully when we do it in communal/ radical love for our fellowman. What a remarkable day in history to be a part of!
My friend FotuoSamoa Jackson could not have said it any better in her facebook status today when she said: “Yesterday, I lost faith in America (because of the corruption of men). Today, my faith has been restored (because of unity of women). #ThePussyGrabsBack
-Taulesulu Olevia Yandall