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At Boise Women’s March, 3,000 attendees vow to ‘speak louder’ and resist

Protesters sit on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol building prior to the Women’s March on Sunday, Jan. 21.
Protesters sit on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol building prior to the Women’s March on Sunday, Jan. 21.

About 3,000 people assembled on the steps of the Idaho Capitol on Sunday morning for the second iteration of the Women’s March, a nationwide protest effort meant to signal resistance to the policies of President Donald Trump.

Though the Sunday event drew only half the attendance of last year’s march, it far outstripped organizers’ expectations. A crowd clad in pink pussyhats once again showed up in force carrying signs decrying the president’s recent comments on Haiti, among other things.

The rally, organized entirely by Boise high school students, emphasized continuing activism. Attendees were encouraged to sign up with local organizations like Medicaid for Idaho and the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence after hearing from speakers including Boise City Councilwoman Lisa Sanchez, Idaho youth activist Fanisee Bias and former Idaho state Sen. Nicole LeFavour.

While much of last year’s march was a direct attack on the recently inaugurated president, organizers and speakers tried to steer the conversation away from focusing entirely on Trump.

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

Sanchez, who recently joined the Boise City Council, turned the spotlight on indigenous people and women of color. LeFavour spoke about labor, economics and work-related gender inequality. The teenagers who organized the event related their own experiences: Will Tangway recounted the first time he witnessed sexist behavior, while Fiona Harpole recalled the pressures of growing up as a girl who was told to be pretty rather than intelligent.

The final speaker, an intern with the Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence named Bukky Ogunrinola, summed up the protest’s goal by quoting her mother: “Speak louder.”

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