The one-year anniversary of the Women’s March titled “Power to the Polls” brought boisterous crowds to Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, where many expressed their disdain for the Trump administration and the political gridlock in Washington, D.C. with the colorful display of signs and outfits.
Las Vegas protesters echoed messages voiced by Women’s March protesters across the nation: they demanded equal rights and equal pay for women and promised to mobilize female voters to put more Democrats in offices across the country in 2018.
Eric Gladstone, of Las Vegas, came to the event with his 13-year-old daughter, Elena Dodd.
“Unfortunately, today the obvious needs to be pointed out — that women’s rights are equal to anyone else’s rights,” Gladstone said.
Dodd said she feels like women are sometimes a “minority.”
“It took them so long to finally be able to vote, and then, that much longer for there to be women in places of government in America, a place where people are supposed to be equal,” Dodd said.
“This is America at its finest. This is what America is about,” Gladstone said as throngs of sign-holding march participants passed by, many wearing signature “pussy hats.”
Cynthia Neely, of Loda, California, drove to Las Vegas the day before march with her husband.
Neely, who attended the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. in 2017, said she was “afraid” for the country because of President’s Trump leadership, but added that she was “proud” of women who are getting together to protest.
“I’ve had enough,” Neely said.
Nevada was selected to host the birthday party of Women’s March movement, because it “was rocked by the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, recent sexual assault allegations against elected officials and has become a battleground state that will shape the Senate in 2018,” according to the Women’s March website.
The purple state is increasingly leaning Democratic and is expected play a crucial role in the 2018 midterms. Hillary Clinton carried Nevada 48-45 percent against Donald Trump in the 2016 election, and Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, the state’s former attorney general was elected the first Latina Senator in the U.S. history.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said “women have been shaking the foundation of America” since last year’s march in Washington, D.C.
“The good news is, when we are in full on sisterhood, women are the most powerful political force in America,” Richards said.
Cortez Masto and Reps. Jacky Rosen and Dina Titus sent more nuanced messages via broadcast videos, expressing their support for those in attendance.
“I’m working in Washington, D.C. this weekend, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share message of support as we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the women’s march 2017,” Cortez Masto said.
Rosen won the race for the Nevada’s 3d Congressional district in November 2016, and is set to face off with U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, in a competitive midterm election.
Democrats have been long eyeing the state in hopes to flip a few Congressional seats.
“No time is more important than right now, and I now, I don’t need to remind you all what’s at stake in 2018,” Rosen said.
Many at the rally in Las Vegas spoke in support of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that has spared almost 800,000 young adult undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to work.
Some speakers urged to ask Congress to pass a bipartisan DREAM Act as lawmakers were trying to negotiate a deal on the legislature to stop the government shutdown over the weekend.
“We need to send a message to Congress this week: ‘Congress, get it together now,”’ said Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org a progressive public policy advocacy group.
Astrid Silva, a Las Vegas activist and Dreamer, said her family lives in fear because of the Trump administration.
“I’m a dreamer, I cannot vote, people are choosing my life for me right now that I do not have a choice over,” Silva told the gleeful crowd.
Marches have been also held across the country, in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. and in several other U.S. cities and countries on Sunday.
Janet Harvey, and her husband Mark Vidas of Minneapolis, Minnesota were filling out of the event as the crowd started to recede in the middle of event.
Vidas said that the stories of event speakers resonated with him.
“It’s hard not to come out of something like this just really full of zest and vigor and ready to do something about changing America,” Vidas said.
“Let’s make America America again,” he said.