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Founder of Women’s March Speaks in Kona

REUTERS
Teresa Shook is pictured in this undated handout photo. Teresa Shook/Handout via REUTERS

Lucy Callender

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It was a hot Sunday afternoon on January 21st. Crowds of women, men, and children gathered on the streets of Kona, sporting protest signs and decked out in various shades of pink. The marchers waved at honking cars, chanting in unison, “This is what democracy looks like!” My family and I stepped into the crowd, holding our own signs. Immediately we were greeted by friendly waves and welcomes from fellow protesters. I was overwhelmed by the passion of the crowd. Elderly women walking together, toddlers holding tiny signs, a husband pushing his wife in her wheelchair as she chanted loudly. At the end of the march, everyone gathered to enjoy speeches, booths, and performances that would last until 7 o’clock. The first speaker of the afternoon was Teresa Shook, the founder of the Women’s March. Her inspiring words illustrated her process for planning the march. It all started with a Facebook post, where she invited women everywhere to join her in a march on Washington the day after Trump’s inauguration. Overnight, the post went viral, and she began to plan, refusing to back down when she faced adversity. On January 20th, women all over the world joined to protest in solidarity. A year later, crowds gathered once more to protest the stagnant progress of women’s rights in America. We marched in hopes that we won’t have to next year; but if that isn’t the case, I am confident in the persistence of the strong women who fight to make a change.

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