Local

Here’s what to expect at the 2018 Women’s March in Boise

Boiseans are ready to make a statement at this year's Women's March

Last year's Women's March in Boise saw a historic crowd of roughly 6,000 people marching through Downtown. This year, they're once again armed with signs and slogans, hoping to draw another big crowd.
Up Next
Last year's Women's March in Boise saw a historic crowd of roughly 6,000 people marching through Downtown. This year, they're once again armed with signs and slogans, hoping to draw another big crowd.

A year ago, some Idahoans were angry. They stood on the steps of the Capitol amid quarter-sized snowflakes, signs in the air and “pussyhats” on their heads. There were almost 6,000 of them.

Colette Raptosh was thrilled to stand in front of that crowd on Jan. 21, 2017. She’ll be thrilled this year if the anniversary of the Women’s March draws a fraction of that number.

“I’m hoping we can get over 1,000 people,” Raptosh said one week before the Sunday rally, which will take place at 10 a.m. outside the Capitol.

The 17-year-old was half of the teenage duo that headed up planning of the march last year and created People for Unity, a group dedicated to social activism.

But Raptosh said she’s worried that the fire that fueled so many to march last year is waning.

“Last year, all the energy was around the Trump administration. This year, I want to make it about anything except the president,” Raptosh said.

She doesn’t think our state “can afford to focus on the president when we have so many things to focus on in our community.”

So instead of a march that snakes through Downtown Boise, Raptosh and her cohort (Boise High students Fiona Harpole, Will Tangway, Sadie Heartman and Madeleine McLean) decided to keep the event at the Capitol. And while the message is much the same, Raptosh said she wants to emphasize continuing activism.

“The time that we would’ve spent marching is going to go into signing people up at more than 10 booths,” including organizations like Planned Parenthood, Indivisible Idaho, International Rescue Committee and People for Unity.

Raptosh said she knows activism isn’t one-size-fits-all, so she wants to find the perfect match for those who show up to the rally (whether they have a lot of time or none at all) — so they’ll keep rallying, and not just at the “glamorous” events like the Women’s March.

“People really fell in love with the pizazz (of the Women’s March) last year, and that was necessary, but we need to focus in on the bigger issues now,” Raptosh said. “It’s important that people realize you can do something every day, that it can be part of your daily life.”

In many ways, internet activism over the past year has made that easier, Raptosh said. She thinks the Women’s March helped pave the way and “give permission” for more women to speak up about their experiences with harassment and sexism, leading to the explosion of efforts like #MeToo and #TimesUp.

“I think people’s physical energy (for activism) has dwindled, but online movements have kept that spark. The Women’s March was relevant before the Trump administration, and it showed it’s still relevant now — and we need to do something about it,” Raptosh said.

Despite some rifts in this year’s Women’s March and widespread fear that the strength of the movement would fade, Raptosh is hopeful.

“Show up,” Raptosh urged Boiseans. “It’s just as important as it was 365 days ago.”

Where: The Idaho State Capitol, 700 W Jefferson St, Boise

When: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 21

Find more information here.

Related stories from Idaho Statesman

  Comments