By Mallory Hopkins | firstname.lastname@example.org
This is what Democracy looks like,” “My body my choice,” “Love trumps hate,” were among some of the phrases chanted on Saturday, Jan. 21 in Downtown St. Augustine. 670 women’s marches occurred internationally that weekend, inspired by the march in Washington. Activists around the world were out on the streets making sure their voices are heard.
Lee-Ann Kendall, a local photographer, has lived on Anastasia Island for 25 years and said she typically doesn’t leave the Island but thought this was a good cause. Kendall filmed a live feed on her Facebook of the March the entire hour she was there. She decided on a live feed rather than just a video, with hopes of reaching more people with their message.
She said she usually doesn’t like to speak out against anything but that the march seemed to be “for a lot of things I believe in, and not against anything.”
Kendall is in her 50s and said, “I remember when MLK was killed, and this seems like a renewal of that energy.” She attended the March on Washington during the civil rights movement but says she was young. She feels that this is her generations chance “to get involved in something we were too young to remember.”
She feels very strongly about the march’s cause and said, “I truthfully think we have a fascist regime doing a coup.”
She hopes that people continue to voice their opinion, and in doing so, she attended the first meeting for Indivisible St. Johns County, Indivisible is a nation-wide term used for similar groups.
“We’re going to be a resistance party,” Kendall said. She also said that she does not know what to expect in the near future.
“I’m scared for our country,” she said.
Flagler College student Ellen Fogel, attended the march and spoke in front of the crowd. She spoke about tolerance of those with different opinions and addressed the two sides of the issue tearing families apart. Fogel was excited to see the turnout and hopes this community involvement continues.
“We were expecting 500 people and 2,000 showed up,” Fogel said. Visitors from out of town made time to get involved. Fogel said those from Minnesota to New Jersey were part of the march that moved from across the Bridge of Lions into the town square.
Moving forward after the march, Fogel stressed that it is “important that we learn to be tolerant,” of others and their opinions. “It makes people uneasy to see this division,” Fogel said, adding she wishes to bridge that gap and keep the conversation respectful between sides.
Skeptics of the march have been asking what comes next after the march, and what they are actually hoping to accomplish.
“Even Trump said ‘empty promises need to stop,’ ” said Fogel. “I hope people keep up that energy.”