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Tuesday, Oct. 3
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Women's March 2018 makes its way to Bloomington

Many members of the march were accompanied by children, helping to hold signs and advocate for women's rights. The Bloomington Resistance March took place Saturday, Jan. 20 at Courthouse Square in Bloomington and held speeches and a march attended by hundreds of Bloomington residents and IU students. 

Maddy Waters, 11, was one one of the first people to give a speech Saturday during the Bloomington Resistance March in front of the Monroe County Courthouse.

The Project School fifth-grader stood on a two-step ladder that served as a makeshift podium, calling on the crowd to save the environment and stand up for what they believe in.

“Women and children and anybody who wants to should be able to make a mark on this world,” Maddy said into the megaphone.

Rachel Guglielmo, Maddy’s mother and one of the organizers of the 2018 Bloomington Resistance March, was holding Maddy’s speech out in front of her, but at the last second, the girl turned away from the wrinkled page to lock eyes with the crowd.

“Also – I am not an ostrich," Maddy said. "So you cannot ostracize me."

A few hundred men, women and children from IU, Bloomington and beyond cheered for Maddy, and she returned to a group of her friends at the front of the crowd with a smile.

The crowd was scattered with pink pussy hats and protest signs, some of which had been dusted off and brought back out from the Women’s March on Washington the year before.

One year after it first bubbled up, spanning continents and leading to millions of people marching in cities across the world, the Women’s March movement returned its followers to the streets.

The Women's March theme for 2018 is “Power to the Polls,” with members striving to register voters and encourage more women to run for office as the midterm elections approach, but marchers came out for a slew of other reasons as well.

In Bloomington, they spoke out against nuclear war, workplace harassment brought to light by the #MeToo movement, overreaching corporate rights and President Trump.  

Others rallied not only for women, but also for intersectionality, reproductive health, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients, refugees, the LGBT community, the Black Lives Matter movement and mental health issues. 

Guglielmo said that despite about 190 "going" and 600 “interested” clicks on a Facebook event advertising the rally, she expected no one would show up except herself and co-organizer Emily Nehus.

“I was expecting to march around the courthouse with her,” Guglielmo said.

Last year, Guglielmo marched in Indianapolis and Nehus marched in Washington, D.C. The two said they organized the march in Bloomington because they could not make it to the one in Indianapolis but still wanted to participate again.

They also wanted to help raise Hoosiers’ awareness of issues currently in talks at the Statehouse, such as the Children's Health Insurance Program. 

Nehus said the one-year anniversary marches show that many people still feel passionately about the Women’s March movement and will continue to stand up to governmental actions they do not like.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of activism this year,” Nehus said.

Many from the IU community also came to the march.

Doug Bauder, director of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center, said he came to stand in solidarity with the movement.

“As a gay man, I love women,” Bauder said. 

In addition to women and the LGBT community, Bauder also said he showed up to advocate for DACA recipients,  immigrants who entered the U.S. as children and whose fates under the program are uncertain.

Bauder said he is currently more concerned for undocumented students than he is for the LGBT community. The LGBT community has found increasing support and acceptance as time has gone on, which is not necessarily true for DACA recipients.

He specifically blamed the president, who he called mean-spirited, with aggravating many of the problems the Women’s March activists want to fix, like the transgender ban in the military and DACA.

“So many of our issues are interconnected, so I couldn’t not be out here,” Bauder said.

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