Denver holds third Womxn’s March
This year’s theme embraced inclusivity and intersectionality
It has been two years since the first Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, which was organized in part to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump, who has a history of making controversial statements about women and faced allegations of sexual assault during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Denver held its third Womxn’s March on Jan. 19, 2019, which The Denver Post estimates drew 80,000 attendees. Organizers explained the spelling was changed to “womxn” to be inclusive to those who identify as gender fluid. Brenda Herrera Moreno, an organizer for the march in Denver, explained at a planning meeting on Jan. 8 that this year’s march theme is “listen, unite, act,” as Denver is “a large community with multiple experiences and multiple identities.”
Nikki Robbins added that she got involved in the Denver Womxn’s March for the first time this year, as the new theme of “listening to those who have been silenced and marginalized… that really resonated with [her].”
The 2019 Denver Womxn’s March focused on highlighting the experience of women from different backgrounds with featured speakers like Mar Luther, a transgender rights activist, and Pasha Ripley, a survivor of human trafficking who advocates for the rights of sex workers. March attendees also emphasized this year’s theme of inclusivity, chanting, “Refugees are welcome here!” and, “Native rights are human rights!”
The national branch of Women’s March, Inc. has faced criticism in recent months when three of its founders – Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour – were accused of supporting antisemitism.
The controversy seems to have caused national progressive leaders to distance themselves from the national Women’s March. This year, the Democratic National Committee chose not to partner with the Women’s March, unlike previous years, and many potential Democratic candidates for president, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, did not participate in the march this year.
Addressing concerns raised about antisemitism among the national Women’s March leaders, Moreno clarified that the Denver branch of the Women’s March is separate from the national organization. Supporting this year’s emphasis on inclusivity, the Denver Womxn’s March also promoted an interfaith prayer service held before the march on their Facebook page that was led by local rabbis.
The official Denver Womxn’s March website did not endorse any policy positions or political candidates, though candidate for mayor, Lisa Calderon, was a featured speaker at the march. Unlike the national Women’s March, Colorado elected officials seemed eager to participate in the Denver march, as both Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Congressman Joe Neguse were in attendance.
In reference to the national political climate, many vendors outside Civic Center Park sold anti-Trump merchandise, and many attendees brought homemade anti-Trump signs. There were also attendees chanting, “Cory Gardner’s got to go!” in reference to Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, who recently supported the controversial confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Though the march is a one-day event, many organizers seemed to be thinking toward the future, as volunteers at the march were registering voters. As the amount of anti-Trump merchandise and homemade signs indicated, the 2020 elections were very much on everyone’s minds.