202 attend Women’s March on The Falls

Caleb Martin

Women, men, children and puppies reach the end of the two mile Women’s March on The Falls as they reach the Fidelity Bank building. Photo By Caleb Martin

A group of 202 women, men and children of the Texoma area gathered in Wichita Falls the morning of  Jan. 24 to take place in the Women’s March on The Falls, a sister march to the women’s march on Washington, D.C. The women’s march in the District of Columbia and its sister marches would be regarded as one of the largest and most significant demonstrations for social justice in America’s 240 years of history.

The women’s march on the Falls began at Sikes Lake and ended at Fidelity Bank in Parker Square, the workplace of Representative Mac Thornberry. Signs were raised and chants were shouted as the group made up of women, men and children marched for recognition of their growing concerns. Their signs, which had words such as, “we are here, we are strong,” and, “this march is about justice and equality for all,” were met with the constant honks and cheers of support as drivers passed the group waving; however, they were also met with curse words being shouted by other drivers, as well as obscene hand gestures.

Some protesters drove to Fidelity Bank because they were unable to march the 2 miles. According to two of the protesters waiting at Fidelity Bank, a driver pulled up next to the protestors, bringing traffic to a halt, and revved the car’s engine loudly causing exhaust fumes to fill the air. The driver’s show of disapproval made three older women in the protest cough violently.

“This is not a bipartisan protest,” said Cynthia Archibald, one of the coordinators for the protest. “This is about women uniting not only here in the U.S., but worldwide. We are protesting and encouraging women around the world to unite for civil rights in countries where they’re under oppressive governments, and then unite here in the U.S. to protect our civil rights. Not just ours, but the constitutional rights of everyone in the U.S. regardless of gender, race, sexual preference or religion.”

According to the protesters, other drivers shouted, “I love Trump,” and, “Trump won; get over it,” even though the protest wasn’t repoted as an anti-Trump protest according to Archibald, but a protest that focused on equality and the protection of civil rights.

The women’s march finished its journey at the Fidelity Bank building at Kemp and Kell with 202 participants.

“We didn’t know how many to expect. I’m very surprised and very pleased with the turnout,” Marilyn Wayte, march coordinator, said. “We thought in the beginning, when I asked if anyone wanted to take part in this, maybe 20 or 30 [would show up], but because the movement is so big, people really wanted to get involved.”

An estimated 2.6 million people took place in 673 sister marches, across 50 states and 32 countries according to the Women’s March on Washington website.

“It’s [the march] not about left or right, but about right and wrong,” Wayte said. “It’s to let people know we’re here, that they’re not alone.”

According to Wayte, she doesn’t know when the next march will be, but she is sure that she and some of her fellow 201 supporters will march again.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, it said, “‘This is not a bipartisan protest,’ said Cynthia Archibald…” The Wichitan regrets this error.