We marched for inalienable rights

February 10, 2017

On Saturday, Jan. 21, I was privileged to join a group marching in Helena in support of the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. That march drew over 600,000 women, men and children in a peaceful protest that saw not one arrest. In Montana, we proudly gathered more than 10,000 marchers, ages ranging from younger than 2 to 94, to gather before our state’s magnificent capitol. The mood was invigorating, but why were we there?

Indeed, why did we march? Was it a protest of the newly elected president? Or was it in response to his campaign promises that he is now bringing to fruition through executive orders that target and alienate seniors among us; immigrants among us; women, African Americans, Latinos and the Dream Children among us? Not all of us could march, so those who could, did. I marched because once Rosa Parks defiantly sat where she wanted. I marched because Jeanette Rankin stood bravely as the sole voice against world war; not once, but twice. And I marched because Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought for the right of all women to vote, rich and poor alike.

Generations before me have defined and stood up for my rights as an American citizen. As they didn’t know me, I don’t know the effect of my demands for affordable health care for all, or civil treatment of our immigrants. But I know what the United States of America stands for — we stand for inalienable rights for all.

That’s why I marched.

Elisabeth Hudnutt