The final preparations are underway for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. on Friday. However, a few hundred thousand people are expected to participate in a separate event happening the next day in the nation’s capital. The purpose of the Women’s March on Washington – according to its organizers – is to send a message about women’s rights to the new administration.
Several Alaskans will be attending. Alyse Galvin will be joining a group of eight family members and friends for the march.
“It’s not really about denying anybody,” Galvin said. “Trump won.”
Still, she said even though the election is over, it is an important time to make her voice heard.
“It has been decades since we’ve worried about some of the issues that I’m worried about this year,” Galvin said.
On Monday, she was working with her son and his friend to prepare for the march. They were making hats and pins that represented the issues they care about most. Galvin said the march is not just for women’s rights.
“I’m going to be interested in talking about health care as a human right,” she said. “I’m interested in talking about voting rights as one of the most important things we have in America.”
Camden Galvin, her son, said he wanted to speak up for young people at the march.
“Since there are so many things that I believe in that are currently being threatened, I want to go there and represent that I care and I’m also watching,” Camden Galvin said.
Another Alaskan participating in the march said she was concerned about how some Americans’ attitudes toward political correctness are changing.
“That really scares me,” said LeeAnne Carrothers. “I’ve sort of always felt that political correctness is really kindness. [It] is to behave in a way — to people and about people — that is kind and respectful.”
Carrothers said she started planning her trip to Washington, D.C. shortly after Trump was elected.
“It seems like we have moved forward fairly significantly in the last many, many decades and, in particular, the last eight years,” Carrothers said. “And to see that those changes could be at risk was really, really scary for me.”
She said she is especially concerned about health care. Her godson has had repeated struggles with cancer, and she said the Affordable Care Act allowed him to pay for treatment he otherwise would be unable to afford.
“That people could get sick and not be treated or people could die because of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is terrifying,” Carrothers said.
The march’s organizers expect 200,000 people to attend the event.
“The idea of marching in solidarity with 200,000 other men and women saying, ‘No, not now. Not OK,’ is so awesome,” Carrothers said.
Alyse Galvin, who leaves Friday morning, said she hopes to bring back new ideas to Alaska about how to generate effective change on a local level.
“The rhetoric has been about moving backwards, and I want to move ahead,” she said.
There will be a local Women’s March on Anchorage Saturday morning on the Delaney Park Strip. It begins at 10:30 a.m., according to the event’s Facebook page. Other events throughout Alaska can be found online at the Women’s March on Alaska website.