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100s March for Women's Rights, Immigrant Rights, Equality in Syracuse Despite Snow & Cold

More than 300 people took part in a Women's March in Syracuse Saturday, protesting for equality in pay, human rights for immigrants and people of color, reducing sexual violence, and other issues. 

A gathering started at the Everson Museum, leading to a march along State and Genesee streets that stretched out for blocks. 

Corcoran High School Teacher Erin Clarke joined the march because issues brought up during two previous Women's marches the past two years are not improving.

"They're definitely the same issues; they're not going way and we’re not going away."

Syracuse University Student Cecilia Root, who's from Syracuse, was also part of the procession.  She carried a sign that said, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun - damental Rights."

“I am the youth of America, and I am the one who’s going to be making the choices.  And these are issues I have a lot of stake in, as a women, as someone who’s LGBT, as somebody who has participated in the #MeToo movement, which is still extraordinarily prevalent, especially on my college campus.”

Cecilia's mother, Megan Root, is also a high school teacher, and says being part of protests helps students who suffer trauma and other problems raise their voices.  Root says she was bringing her daughter to marches and rallies since she was 5 or 6 years old.

“I can’t believe we’re still doing this, but in the political climate were living in today, we can’t not do this.  Trump has made it easier to denigrate women, to persecute minorities, to make Mexicans out to be villains and criminals, and we can’t stand for that.”

A rally followed the march at University United Methodist Church, with more than 250 packed into the hall.  SU Student Khadijo Abdulkadir started an interpretation service for refugees and others who have settled here.  She participated to bring more attention to getting basic rights to local residents.

Many of the new Americans cannot access the basic human services that have been offered by the government and other human services institutions in our community.  I am determined that my ambition will not (be diminished) by the current events in our community.

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
11-year-old Amiah Crisler spoke to the crowd

The crowd was captivated by 11-year-old Amiah Crisler, an Ed Smith School student who has gained noteriety as a local artist.   She recognized the multiple generations of people who took part in the march and protest.

“Seeing you reminds me of why we march.  We march because our voices and ways of knowing are still being ignorned, when it comes to our rights, our bodies and our minds.  We march today because we demand a higher place in our community.  We march today because women and girls are oftern targets of sexual assault, harassment, domestic violence and rape.  We march to tell young girls and women that they are not alone.”

Saturday's march was part of a group of coordinated marches around the country, including ones in Seneca Falls and Utica. 

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.