Protestors in Syracuse march for women’s issues

Protestors march for women’s issues

Local activist groups organized this protest in light of the recent Supreme Court nomination and the upcoming election.
Published: October 17, 2020
Protesters gathered on the lawn at Clinton Square Saturday afternoon.

Over 100 people protested Saturday afternoon in downtown Syracuse for a range of women’s issues ahead of the November election.

Typically held in January, this October women’s march was scheduled in light of the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and the impending election, organizers said.

One sign in the crowd read, “In the spirit of RBG,” and another, “May her memory be for a revolution.”

“We have people suffering and dying from COVID no matter what party,” said Nodesia Hernandez, one of the main organizers for the march. “We have people who are about to lose their reproductive rights no matter what party.”

The march started in Clinton Square within earshot of the federal building. The marchers proceeded past people dining outside to Columbus Circle, which has been the site of its own protest in recent months and will be renamed. Some cars beeped in support as the marchers made their way up Salina street, but other’s beeped and yelled at the protestors to get out of the street and stop blocking traffic.

The event lasted around an hour and a half. Masks and social distancing were required of attendees. This march happened simultaneously with an estimated 250 marches taking place around the country Saturday.

“There is so much going on in the world right now,” Hernandez said. “People are just doing what they need to survive. So, us being out here in the streets in these mass amounts is saying ‘we are here to fight for you.’”

Jillian McGuire marched in the protest with her three children, Maggie, Declan, and Alice McGuire. They took turns holding a sign that read “Women are coming, time’s up.” The sign, fashioned out of a reused cardboard box, was taller than the children. Maggie, the oldest daughter was wearing an “I am a feminist like my mom” shirt. She had been marching since she was three years old, Jillian McGuire said. Declan and Alice were marching in their first protest.

“Why are we here?” McGuire asked her children. “Because we don’t like Donald Trump,” the children responded in unison.

“I think everyone is really sick of life under Donald Trump,” said McGuire. “So, I am trying to teach my kids that this is not what a leader looks like.”

Protesters gathered on the lawn at Clinton Square Satruday afternoon. The event lasted around an hour and half. Masks and social distancing were required of attendees. (Photo by Patrick Linehan)
"All women's lives matter" was a slogan chanted throughout downtown Syracuse during this year's women's march. The event was put on by many different activist groups in Syracuse.

Another march organizer, Colleen Gibbons, said that she was marching for Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A lawyer herself, Gibbons said that the impact of the Supreme Court is too far-reaching not to resist the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett.

“[This nomination] makes justice look like a sham instead of something that works for everyone,” Gibbons said.

Gibbons said she hopes that people in Syracuse see there is a group of people marching on a picture-perfect fall afternoon instead of going to pumpkin patches. She said that people should realize that the Supreme Court impacts all Americans’ lives.

Gibbons said the march route was intentional, as she rounded the corner past the Onondaga county courthouse.

“Show me what democracy looks like,” rang from the crowd of protestors. “This is what democracy looks like.”