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Voices from the Boston Women’s March

May Jaw

Voices from the Boston Women’s March
At 9 a.m. in the morning, a significant crowd had already gathered; heating up the Boston Common with a cheerful atmosphere for the event scheduled at 11 a.m.

“All the people I know are here” one older lady spoke to her partner. “Seriously, I do not know many people, but they are all here!”

In this peaceful, friendly, nonpartisan assembly, people celebrated the diversity of the United States and delivered messages about equality, dignity, and justice. People displayed creative signs demonstrating their beliefs and values, and photographed others to capture this historic moment.

According to the official announcement, there were over 90,000 people registered to participate the march as of Inauguration Day. Post-march estimates indicate that nearly 175,000 joined the Boston Women's March on January 21st.

I had the chance to chat with several participants, understand their concerns, and get to know more about American culture.

There was a veteran, marching alone and quietly. “I can still remember the Anti-Vietnam war protests at Boston Common. That was the 1970s,” he recalled.

“We got a 54 (Fahrenheit) degree day in Boston, in January. It is a sign of blessing! However, it is also a sign of climate change!” said Eric Packer, the founder of Progressive Asset Management Boston, one of the community partners for the Boston Women’s March.

Climate justice was one of the topics championed by several march participants. The former White House official pages about climate change were removed shortly after the inauguration and archived at according to Mr. Packer.

In its place, the “America First Energy Plan” now appears at the Trump Administration’s White House website, claiming that the government will “maximize the use of American resources [...] eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule”, and “reviv[e] America’s coal industry,” in hopes of increasing job opportunities related to the fading industry.

From my point of view, it is more important to create an equal, affordable education that enables people to take on jobs in the industries that show strong potential growth in the future, keeping the United States a leader in innovation.

When asked about the cancellation of Obamacare and the new health plan, a residency doctor at Boston Medical Center responded “We don’t know what that means [for us]”. "I am concerned," one woman added, “What will be the new insurance coverage? Will that become a wealthy-people-care?”

For me, the best part of democracy is that every political party exists to represent an interest group. No matter which party was selected, some people benefit from it. However, all people have the right to speak out and voice their concerns.

This is a new start, and we don't know where it will lead us. What we can do, is to express our beliefs, state our values, and hope this will shape the world we want. Hopefully the new administration can hear the people’s voices from every interest group, and let it guide the new administration to a greater world.