10,000 -15,000 determined, compassionate, and resilient North Carolinians poured into the state capital for the Women’s Rally on Raleigh on Saturday, 1/20/18. The Raleigh event was in conjunction with events in at least 9 cities around NC, and with all these people in all these cities celebrating women’s rights and raging against bad policies, against dangerous votes, against vicious political maneuvers, against terrible tweets and against worse behavior! In Raleigh, women leading the resistance sang, recited, and spoke about voter suppression, sexual assault, domestic violence, access to affordable quality healthcare, immigrant rights, Islamophobia, LGBTQ rights, public education and more. Our rally cries rang across North Carolina: the resistance is here to stay.
Civil Rights Attorney Anita Earls on stage Photo Credit: Vicky DeGroote
Here are some quotes from our speakers and performers. See almost two hours of the event from right in front of the stage on WRAL here.
“When I hear the word justice/freedom/resistance, it makes me think about women.” – Performer Randa McNamara
“Don’t call me baby. It’s CEO, director, president. Change is coming—that’s evident.”
– MaryBe McMillan, delivering a poem that she wrote for our event! @marybemcmillan, President of the @NCStateAFLCIO
“Unfortunately it needs to be said. We are not leeches coming from shitholes.”
-Eiman Ali, @EimanAliii, on the contributions of immigrants, and the scapegoating and abuse they endure.
“We have a message for you, can’t hide in the world of #metoo.” – MaryBe McMillan
“If there is not justice for you, there is not justice for me.” – Monika Johnson-Hostler, Speaker, Women’s Rally on Raleigh.
“Things I resist – oppression, discrimination, poverty!” – Performer Lena Jackson.
“We are coming for you, with the strength of our votes and our pocketbooks – we are coming for YOU!” – Dr. Michelle Laws, Speaker, Women’s Rally on Raleigh
“We have the opportunity to restore democracy to North Carolina” – Civil Rights Attorney Anita Earls.
“Remember, it is women who are leading this fight!” – Civil Rights Attorney Anita Earls.
“Today we resist sexism, racism, any form of discrimination. This house is our house! We need to take it back!” Jessica Holmes,Wake County Commission Chair
“It means nothing until you leave here today, and you go back to your neighborhoods, back to your jobs” and take action. – Candis Cox, Board member of Equality NC
“Resistance must be intersectional.” – Rebekah Barber, activist, organizer, and daughter of Reverend Dr. William Barber. Representing the NC-NAACP
“Workers’ rights are human rights, and human rights are workers rights”– MaryBe McMillan, @marybemcmillan, president of the AFL-CIO NC @NCStateAFLCIO
“A world like the #HandmaidsTale is not a world we want, and it is a world we will fight!” – Becki Fernandez @NARALNC
“We fought so never again will being a woman be a pre-existing condition” – Lindsay Robinson, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, @PPSATNC
“Use the power of the ballot box to make real change”
– Lindsay Robinson, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, @PPSATNC
“I can’t keep quiet. A one woman riot. Tell me someone understands.” – Lexie Nuell from Temple Beth Or kicked off the music of the resistance! #WomenLeadingTheResistance #RallyOn Raleigh
“We will rise!” “Such a beautiful voice [Lexie has], I was hypnotized and forgot to record!” – Organizer Shana Becker wrote.
“[T]o stand with women and to ensure that women know that we are equipped and are here to lead the resistance against oppression.” – Letha Muhammad, Education Justice Alliance.
“I have the power and the agency to stand for my children in schools. But not just my children, for all children. So I’m out here today to encourage all of us, no matter what community you come from, to stand up against injustice.” – Letha Muhammad, Education Justice Alliance.
“Now they want to close our clinics and we are here to tell them no!” “Our women’s rights are threatened and we are seriously pissed!” – The Raging Grannies! #musicoftheresistance #womenlead #IAmWithher #mybodymychoice #rallyonraleigh @Raging_Grannies
“Ignorance is bliss but it’s not power… Now I’m awake… I’ll trade my ignorance for strength. I want to shake the world awake.” – High School student and performer, Lacy Wilder
Ana Pardo of NC Justice Center said she was breaking with professional convention and telling her personal story. Women and children today are being denied the same kind of support that her family got in the 80s, support they needed to survive and stay together. Pardo had the crowd help her deliver a very clear message to people in power in the NC Legislature. “We are women and allies. We are not afraid. And we are going to win!!“
“‘We have a job to do!’ Women have led this country since its birth. Remember that power, and use it.” -Candis Cox, @candis_cox, board member of @equalitync
“It is trans women of color who are disproportionately murdered in this country. Those lives matter.” – Candis Cox, @candis_cox, board member of @equalitync
“No parent should have to choose between a safe place to live & enough food to eat.” “Women & children are being denied the support needed to help them survive. Only 7% of women & children who need financial assistance receive it” -Ana Pardo, NC Justice Center.
“My family had hope when my brother received his #DACA, only to have it snatched away by an ignorant man-child.” – Maria Alonzo from @elpuebloinc speaks about being undocumented and sometimes afraid for her family at the #RallyOnRaleigh
“Unfortunately it needs to be said. We are not leeches coming from shitholes.” -Eiman Ali, @EimanAliii, on the contributions of immigrants, and the scapegoating and abuse they endure.
“This movement is long past overdue. In order to achieve our goals, we must acknowledge our privileges and take stock of our weaknesses and strengths.” – Speaker Nida Allam, from the NCDP.
“Today is not a moment – it has to be a movement!” “This past year there were no legislative strides forward – only backward. The barriers to women’s inclusion in society are higher. SHAME!” – Reverend Nancy Petty from Pullen Memorial Baptist Church on Hillsborough St in Raleigh, @RevNancyPetty
“Ya know what makes a movement? Ya gotta move!”
– Rev. Nancy Petty
“Our elected officials are shrinking the social support network.” – Ana Pardo of NC Justice Center
“These are challenging and scary times, but we have been down this road and we know the way back!”
– Lindsay Robinson, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, @PPSATNC
“We are coming for you, with the strength of our votes and our pocketbooks – we are coming for YOU!!”
– Dr. Michelle Laws, @michellelaws7
Thanks to WROR organizer Shana Becker for capturing many of these quotes and tweeting them to the world!
Organizers expected 5,000 attendees and 2 to 3 times that many flooded into Halifax Mall. Event held on Halifax Mall.
Press Links: https://womensmarchonraleigh.org/press/