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Hundreds Take Part in Columbia Solidarity March and Rally

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Betsy Smith
/
KBIA
Mid-Missourians begin the Solidarity March in Courthouse Plaza in Columbia, Missouri to support rights for all on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.

Hundreds of mid-Missourians gathered to rally for social and economic issues at the Solidarity March and Rally in downtown Columbia Saturday afternoon. Attendees listened to six speakers at the Boone County Courthouse Plaza and marched through the streets of downtown Columbia.

The march marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The day after the inauguration in 2017, there was a Women’s March on Washington. This year, the estimated crowd of 1,700 came to support more than just women’s rights, says Mark Haim, director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks and one of the event organizers. 

“We addressed what are traditionally considered women’s issues because this was in solidarity with the women’s march,” Haim said. “But we also addressed issues that aren’t traditionally thought of as women’s issues but really are issues for all of us.”

Forty-eight organizations hosted the event to represent issues like healthcare, immigration and civil rights. Columbia resident Ruth O’Neill says she came to the march to stand up for people affected by government policies.

“Many of the things that people were worried about happening are happening,” O’Neill said. “I’m hoping that one of the differences that comes from this is that people become more organized, and it’s not just one afternoon a year. “

Haim says turnout was better for last year’s women’s march in Columbia, but he is pleased that this year’s attendees are consistent in their support.

“We’re here because we face some real challenges as a nation and a world right now because of the misdirection that our current administration is taking us in,” Haim says. “We wanted to say ‘no’ to that and ‘yes’ to a future that works for everyone.”

Haim says the 48 host organizations are planning similar events for the rest of the year.