BY AUDREY SINCLAIR
On Saturday, Jan. 21, hundreds arrived at Piazza della Rotonda in front of the Pantheon for a “sister march” of the Women’s March on Washington. A crowd diverse in age, race, and gender came for a peaceful gathering with concerns about the current state of American affairs.
As various speakers passed around a megaphone, signs waved through the air. I’m with her, read one, with a large arrow pointing to mother Earth. Embrace diversity, read another with rainbow lettering. A third read Nasty women against fascism, and more signs went on to address a range of issues. According to an official flier found at the Women’s March, the goal was to gather for “peace and diplomacy, an end to racism, civil rights and liberties, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, immigrant rights, disability rights, and environmental justice.”
A crowd of 17 John Cabot University students gathered at the Tiber campus the morning of the walk to the Pantheon together, and even more students, alumni, and professors joined in along the way or at the Piazza.
“I’m here because I want to be able to stand up for what I believe in,” said Madeline Hyde, a junior from Dallas, TX who is attending John Cabot for the semester. “I want to be a part of change and progress.” The Roman rally was one of several hundred sister marches happening worldwide. Marches were organized in many cities across the United States and others occurred in US territories as well as in a number of countries on each of the seven continents. “I’m here today for my family,” said Rachael Littlehale, a visiting John Cabot student from Boston, MA. “for my rights, and their [LGBT] rights.” Enrica Barberis, a senior degree seeker at John Cabot, organized the invitation for JCU students to walk to the rally together. “I think it’s absolutely fundamental that we unite,” said Barberis.
“There’s so many strong feminists at John Cabot who never have the opportunity to do something so public.”
While Barberis is Italian, she feels empathetic with her American peers. “Wherever in the world, we all have the same rights.”
According to the official website of the women’s march, there were 673 registered marches across the globe following President Trump’s inauguration day, with an estimated 4,876,700 marchers in attendance at the combined marches and rallies. The organization is now calling for individuals to participate in the “10 actions, 100 days” campaign, a way to keep the women’s march community engaged in politics.