March in historic Seneca Falls evokes women's rights birthplace
Women’s rallies were held in Syracuse and Watertown over the weekend in protest of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, but perhaps the most symbolic in the region was the one in Seneca Falls where thousands gathered outside the National Women’s Rights Historical Park.
A sea of purple and white filled the courtyard where the first national women’s rights convention was held in 1848. Becky Bly, owner of Woman Made Products in Seneca Falls, told the crowd that their presence honored the 300 women and men who started that women’s suffrage movement.
“Today nearly 5,000 have gathered on this same spot and hundreds of thousands more at 600-plus marches in this country and around the world are gathering are gathering in solidarity to continue what was begun here," Bly said to thunderous applause. "Welcome, welcome home to Seneca Falls!"
Those in attendance, like Kalie Buchman from Manlius, said they were marching to show that they are ready to mobilize if Trump moves to restrict women’s rights.
“I'm not going to stay silent through all of this because I think people who are just sitting back and accepting all of this are just saying they support what’s going on and I don’t want to say that," Buchman said.
Others, like Debbie Kraft of Canandaigua, pledged to resist the Republican president's agenda, such as repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“I’m standing up for women’s rights, women’s health, I’m against banning Muslims," Kraft said. "I think this should be a democracy where everyone is free and where everyone can have the same rights.”
The march proceeded through downtown Seneca Falls, a block away from the National Women’s Hall of Fame where a plaque honoring Hillary Clinton hangs. An updated version has been ordered that will note her achievement of becoming the first female nominee of a major political party, but much to the dismay of those who attended the event Saturday, it will not say the first female president.