Although Sunday’s Women’s March had a smaller turnout than in previous years, attendees remained vigilant in their rally for unity.
The fourth annual Women’s March brought a smaller crowd to downtown Phoenix than in years past, with roughly 2,000 people in attendance at the State Capitol Sunday morning.
Speakers included Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, civil rights attorney Deedra Abboud, and community organizer Vanessa Nosie. While the event started in 2017 as a march in support of women’s rights, speakers this year focused more on voter turnout, environmental protections, and unifying communities.
“We are fighting to protect Mother Earth,” Nosie told the crowd. “We are fighting to protect all people, no matter what nationality. Everybody has a right to live, and to believe in what they want to believe in.”
Earlier in the week, organizers announced the event would only be a rally, with no accompanying march. Lead organizer Eva Burch told The Arizona Republic they were not able to raise enough money to block off the streets, as in years past.
“We had a later start getting things organized this year. We had money from last year, but we just weren’t able to procure funds we needed in time to get it done,” Burch said.
Instead, Burch and other march leaders stressed they would focus on energizing the crowd and encouraging political activism.
“Every group attending the march will be conducting vital work in 2020, and we need you to ‘march’ by knocking on doors, texting voters, and registering people to vote,” event organizers said in a statement on Facebook. “This event is about us as a community coming together to stand up for our values and make connections.”
The Women’s March started in 2017 as a response to Donald Trump’s presidency, which organizers felt would be a threat to women’s rights. It is estimated that 4.8 million people attended marches worldwide.