Maui residents feeling politically helpless can have their voices heard by participating in the Women’s March on Maui. The peaceful demonstration will coincide with the national Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, Jan. 21–one day after the official United States Presidential Inauguration. And if peacefully protesting is not enough, the public is invited to join Renee De Ahl on Jan. 17 on her radio show Women Matters to give a statement about why they are marching for human rights.
The Women’s March on Maui will kick off at 8am at the University of Hawaii Maui College front lawn. There will be a moment of silence for women’s equality that will occur at the same time as the national moment of silence, led by feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
The demonstration will feature an opening ceremony and pule with Lei`ohu Ryder. The free event will include a solidarity march and sign waving, inspirational music and messages and donations to Maui Foodbank. There also will be action team sign up opportunities.
Earlier in the week, Women Matters host De Ahl is inviting the public to drop in to her radio show to chat about why they are participating in the march. De Ahl will host the #WHYIMARCH open forum January 17 at AKAKU community media studio (333 Dairy Rd., Kahului) between 2-3pm. De Ahl said she is marching because she is a multi-cultural woman who has fought her entire life to be accepted for who and what she is. “I have struggled to hold on to my HUMAN right to be in control of my own life, my body, and my equal right to financial gain,” De Ahl said. “The Women of Maui and women around the world have fought and struggled as I have for rights that we were born with, that we shouldn’t be still now struggling to keep. We need to be HEARD! The movement starts NOW!”
“Women Matters” will air live on KAKU 88.5 FM. The show also can be heard via the TuneIn app on any smartphone, as well as online at Akaku.org.
Organizers of the Women’s March on Maui encourage the public to bring the aloha and be seen and counted in a global solidarity movement proclaiming the importance of social and economic equality for all; it’s an opportunity to speak out for the protection of all rights, for free speech, safety, and health for all our citizens.
The Maui march will take place simultaneously with hundreds of others events across the country and around the globe.
The Women’s March on Washington is currently projecting 200,000 attendees, including a long list of celebrities. America Ferrera will serve as chair of the Artist Table, with stars including Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer, Katy Perry, Scarlett Johansson, Cher and more as participants, according to an Entertainment Weekly report.
“Since the election, so many fear that their voices will go unheard,” Ferrera said in a statement. “As artists, women and most importantly dedicated Americans, it is critical that we stand together in solidarity for the protection, dignity and rights of our communities. Immigrant rights, worker rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, racial justice and environmental rights are not special interests, they affect us all and should be every American’s concern.”
The Women’s March on Maui runs 8-11am. There is no cost to participate; however, tax deductible donations gratefully accepted with proceeds supporting The Safe Keiki Project.
The Maui march is sponsored by The Human Services Program and Malama Lahui Kanaka Club at UH-Maui College.
According to this Reuters report, the inspiration for the Women’s March on Washington was a Facebook post by Maui resident Teresa Shook, who wanted to share her outrage with other women the night after Donald Trump was elected president. She had few options in this remote island community, so she went on Facebook and wrote the first thing that came to mind: I think we should march.
Four weeks later, organizers credited Shook’s quiet plea with igniting what could be the largest demonstration in the nation’s capital related to a presidential election. “I didn’t have a plan or a thought about what would happen,” Shook told Reuters. “I just kept saying, I think we should march.”
After a bruising election campaign marked by Trump’s comments on women, organizers say his presidency could threaten access to women’s healthcare, erode protection against sexual violence and roll back aid to struggling mothers.
“I was in such shock and disbelief that this type of sentiment could win,” said Shook, a retired lawyer from Indiana with four grandchildren. “We had to let people know that is not who were are.”
Image of Women’s March on Versailles (1789) courtesy Bibliotheque Nationale de France