Editor's Note: This article was originally written for the campus newspaper, "The Union." Editorial staff have submitted the article for use in "Campus Connections," Milpitas Unified School District's bi-weekly newsletter.
By Harriet Do and Katherine Hubeny
While many people spent January 21 taking the SATs, a number of Milpitas High School students and faculty participated in the San Jose Women’s March to support immigrants’ and women’s rights in light of the recent presidential inauguration. At the Women’s March, approximately 25,000 participants took part in the march and rally.
The Women’s March began with the master of ceremonies, who started a few chants at the city hall, according to junior Tsegenet Awoke. Participants then marched from the City Hall to the Cesar Chavez plaza, about a 0.7 mile walk, where there were multiple speakers, Awoke added.
“The experience at the Women’s March in San Jose was generally positive,” Awoke said. “We were surrounded by a lot of women, and men too, who had a hope within them and wanted to fight for what they thought was right.”
Among the 25,000 people in attendance was also junior Yen-Vy Ngo, who decided to go because she wanted to march and celebrate the humans rights that everyone should continue to have, Ngo stated.
“It was very uplifting to be surrounded by such a diverse group of people because there were over 25,000 people walking around,” Ngo said. “And you could see that everyone who was walking really cared and was really supportive.”
At the march, there was a variety of speakers who shared their own stories and conveyed their thoughts on current issues, Ngo explained. It was inspiring to hear the different stories, and how different experiences can bring the world together, Ngo added.
“I learned that hardships can bring people together, such a big diversity of people together,” Ngo said. “Because there were such diverse people who all supported the same thing.”
Psychology Teacher Lisa Gable also attended the march and felt very supported in her beliefs, Gable said. The march was positive and upbeat; men and women of all colors were talking to each other about their signs and what they thought and meant, Gable continued.
“I wasn’t alone in my beliefs; there are a lot of us,” Gable stated. “So many people marched all over the country, and I felt like this march had some value, and I think it’s the beginning steps of a resistance.”
The Women’s March is a movement that should continue to progress, according to Gable. The unity among the collection of people affirmed the support of certain issues, Gable said.
“What we need to do is hold our (parties), for me I’m a Democrat, so my Democratic Party accountable to me,” Gable explained. “Also, to have (the party members) know that they have my support when they battle for and fight for the values that I think are important.”
It was encouraging to meet people who had similar ideas, according to Gable. The positive environment of the march was a motivation to those in attendance, Gable continued.
“I thought about (why I decided to go), and I decided that I can’t be quiet and just let our democracy be taken over the way it seems to be being taken over,” Gable said. “I can’t allow those things that I feel are antithetical to what our society should believe or does believe be stripped from us.”
Nonviolent protest is essential to democracy, and it is important to speak up about issues, according to English Teacher Sanjit Roy. Many people of all colors, ages, and genders participated in the march, and the group was very diverse, Roy stated.
“There were so many men that I didn’t feel anything,” Roy said. “Even though the march was called a Women’s March, it was much bigger than one issue. People spoke about rights of immigrants and other issues.”