Local Women's Marches Persist Despite The Pandemic

Oct 17, 2020

Attendees dressed as "handmaids" at the South Bend Women's March on Saturday, October 17, 2020.
Credit Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

 

Hundreds of cities across the U.S. held Women’s Marches on Saturday, including two in northern Indiana. 

The South Bend Women’s March was held in Howard Park, where participants were asked to wear masks and socially distance. Following a surge of COVID-19 cases in Elkhart County, the Goshen Women’s March organizers decided to broadcast a Zoom panel via Facebook Live. 

Both events protested the rush to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Seventh Circuit Judge and South Bend resident Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to fill the seat last month.

Kathy Burnett said that’s why she came out to the South Bend march on Saturday.

“We’re here for Ruth,” Burnett said. “We need to stand up for Ruth.”

Goshen City Councilwoman Julia King shows off her Ruth Bader Ginsburg T-shirt at the virtual Goshen Women’s March on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
Credit Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

Speaking of the nomination at the Goshen Women’s March, At-Large City Councilwoman Julia King said that “clearly, women are not interchangeable.”

“To me, the Women’s March is about championing the rights of all marginalized people,” she added.

Voting was another key focus of both protests. At the Goshen march, Bridge Anti-Discrimination Network Interim President Erin Floyd asked participants to think of their vote as a mask. 

“We wear masks to protect those who may be more likely to suffer than ourselves from COVID-19,” Floyd said. “This year, your vote is an act of protection for America’s most vulnerable — those who have been systemically dehumanized since our nation’s inception.”

Floyd also asked participants to “vote to affirm the humanity of the Trump supporter next door, whose feelings of disenfranchisement and financial struggles have been exploited and weaponized.”

 

At the South Bend march, Democratic Congressional candidate Pat Hackett also implored attendees to vote.

 

"It is on us to save Western democracy, to save this nation, creation itself," Hackett said. "It is on us."

Mia Bauer attended the South Bend march, even though she’s not old enough to vote — yet. She said she still felt “obligated to be a part of the political climate,” and thinks other young people should feel the same. 

“Since we’re not allowed to vote, we don’t have the direct say in who is elected,” Bauer said. “But it’s still hugely important to come out to protests like this because it’s the least we can do to fight for ourselves and for everybody else.”

Contact Gemma at gdicarlo@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo

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