By Sabrina Schnur
BU News Service
BOSTON – More than 8,000 residents of the greater Boston area rallied on the Cambridge Common Saturday. Icy grass and cloudy skies did not deter the second annual Women’s March hosted by the January Coalition.
Zayda Ortiz, an organizer from Indivisible Mystic Valley, a group coordinating with the January Coalition, announced elected community leaders and activists who rallied the women and men in pink.
“364 days ago, I stood on the Boston Common, one of many in a sea of pink,” Ortiz said. “I was, like many people around me, wrestling with fear, anger, unsure of the future and overwhelmed by the feeling of powerlessness.”
Ortiz thanked rally-goers for their work and protests in the past year and promised a change in the near future.
“We have all worked hard over the past year in our communities to resist,” Ortiz said. “We have marched, we have organized, we have stood up against racist rhetoric … Our legislators see the rising tide of blue that’s coming their way.”
Attorney General Maura Healey said she sued President Donald Trump several times in 2017 to uphold rights she said all Americans deserve.
“I’m suing him because what he is doing is illegal, it is unconstitutional and it is un-American,” Healey said. “It’s a fight about our values; it’s a fight about our communities. It’s about a fight for our future that we hold dear and aspire to.”
Ortiz read letters from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Ed Markey who were both in Washington.
“The world changed the day that Donald Trump was sworn in as president,” Warren wrote, “but the world changed again the day after. The day that women in Massachusetts and all across the country became an army.”
Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge) said the president was everything she expected him to be a year ago and she is proud of women who fought against him.
“A year ago, our country had just elected a man with a history of violence against women, a history of being racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and exclusionary, and we weren’t going to put up with it a year ago,” Decker said.
Decker said the way to build an ideal government is to continue to fight for the people as she promises to do.
“We think about the kind of society we want, one that is built on justice, equity and inclusion,” Decker said. “We’re not going to be hopeless because that would only strengthen that agenda of bigotry and exclusion … We are committed to a government for the people by the people and not just some of the people.”
“Together, We Will Resist, We Will Persist and We Will Win”
Several residents said they came to support inclusivity and rights for all types of Americans.
“Geri Davis, 75, said she has marched since the 1960s in gay pride parades, anti-Vietnam protests and other marches for better rights for all.”
“I wish we weren’t still marching at this point but we need to,” Davis said. “I’m here today mainly to support all the different causes because there are a lot more causes now than we needed to march for in the past.”
Davis said throughout history she has seen the positive effects rallies have on policy.
“No matter what, all of the different marches throughout the ages have pushed us forward, and I think we will continue to move in the right direction,” Davis said.
Tamara Petrov, 18, said she came to stand in solidarity because she believes in the power of women in numbers.
“We want to support the numerous genders on the spectrum and we also want to support every one of every color,” Petrov said. “We want to show everyone that we are not going to stand for Donald Trump taking away our human rights and abusing his power.”
A previous version of this article stated 30,000 residents were in attendance. The number has been changed to reflect the updated count provided by Cambridge Police.