WATERTOWN — Hoping to be a part of something bigger than themselves, a trio of like-minded friends organized a rally for equity and equality Saturday morning in Public Square.
Originally thinking the Facebook event would bring their friends together for a casual hangout in the square, Tanya Roy, Susie J. Yerdon and Cynthia P. Tyler quickly saw an opportunity to bring the community together and not feel so isolated in their beliefs as the event page began to gain interest online.
“We’re kind of spread out far and wide here,” Ms. Roy said, “and we’re not always the loudest voice so sometimes it can feel like, you know, we’re all alone.”
Being members of Women’s March 2020, the three friends saw the organization’s call for communities nationwide to host socially distanced events on Saturday as a way to stand in solidarity for unity and equality amid a divisive social and political climate. Namely, in opposition to President Trump’s agenda including his attempt to quickly fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat.
Women’s March is a women-led movement whose mission, as stated on their website, “is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.”
As just one among dozens of demonstrations across the country who answered the call with a similar agenda, the Together We Rise rally made a point to address issues such as access to healthcare, voting rights, immigration, climate change and cyclical poverty.
Guest speakers stepped up to the gazebo to share their thoughts on these topics, but in-between speeches, Ms. Roy played upbeat music on the loud speaker which was frequently met with car horns and shouts of support from passing drivers. Nearing the end of the rally, one group of participants sang “God Bless America” in unison upon seeing a Jeep truck with a Trump and American flag mounted on the back park across the street.
“When we hear people say, ‘Make America great again’ the question is, ‘Great for who?’” Ms. Roy said. “And we want it to be great for everyone so that’s really what today is about.”