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UB students share experience at Women's March

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Amelia Veitch feels that there is a lot at stake for her future career in environmental engineering, but protesting in the Women’s March in Washington D.C. gave her an overwhelming sense of hope.

“I wanted to be a more active citizen in a way that was not just voting or not just writing something on the Internet but actually going,” Veitch, a UB junior said. “It was a long and hard day and it wasn’t easy by any means. It was very overwhelming but also very comforting and cathartic.”

More than a million people nationally and worldwide rallied in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21 to peacefully protest for human and gender rights, LGBTQ rights and other issues such as climate change, immigration reform and healthcare reform. Many UB students went to the Women’s March in D.C. while many participated in sister marches in New York City and Buffalo.

Joshua Herman, a junior geographic information science major, protested in the “No Hate, No Mandate” rally in Buffalo on Jan. 21. The rally was organized by the Western New York Peace Center and was a sister march of the Women’s March in DC.

“I felt it was important to take a stand early on. This rally and its many sister rallies have shown that a resistance to the president’s unconventional policies and positions is alive and well,” Herman said.

He said everyone there knew solidarity was the overall theme of the protest.

Herman intends to participate in the People’s Climate March on Washington in late April and future rallies in Buffalo.

Nicole Jones, a first year graduate student in social work, was also in attendance at the Buffalo rally.

“This protest and rally was significant to me because it represented the ability to create tangible change,” Jones said. “Grassroots and local movements were emphasized during the rally and seeing everyone cheer and rally in support of them made me want to get involved even more. It helped me feel better about the current political situation and made me feel like I wasn't alone.”

Carly Kleinman, a sophomore dance and communication major, took part in the Women’s March in New York City and was shocked by how many people were there. She felt invigorated to help make a difference and proud to march with her grandma and mother.

“It felt very powerful getting to march alongside everyone who was feeling the same way I was feeling,” Kleinman said. “It makes you think that you could really make a difference in our country.”

Kleinman is interested in participating in future rallies revolving around women’s rights.

Alexa Ringer, a freshman environmental design major, took a bus with a union to the Women’s March in Washington D.C and found the protest to be “utter chaos.”

“Seeing hundreds of thousands of people in one spot – it didn’t look like people, it looked like a mass of objects,” Ringer said. “It was just so encouraging.”

Ringer witnessed “terrifying and violent statements” of pro-Donald Trump supporters antagonizing the crowd. She said one person was shouting that Trump is “Jesus.” She said it felt scary to walk around them but “awesome” at the same time.

Ringer feels the march has encouraged her to be more aware of the news as an “average citizen.”

UB Progressives and UB for Bernie Sanders will be holding a protest called “Students Resistance Organizing” on Feb. 2 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the top of the Capen staircase by Norton Cafe.

UB Law School will be holding an anti-Trump rally on Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. outside of O’Brien Hall in between Capen and Norton Hall.

A local protest called “No ban. No wall. Rally for Immigrant Refugee & Muslim Solidarity” will be held on Feb. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Columbus Park.

“Getting involved is not always easy but it’s worth it. If you have the means to, standing up for people who can’t necessarily do it is always important,” Veitch said.

Hannah Stein is the co-senior news editor and can be reached at hannah.stein@ubspectrum.com


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