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A Year After Women's March, Demonstrators Gather In Montpelier To Put Spotlight On Youth

Amy Kolb Noyes
The event called the March for Our Future focused on youth, with speakers at the statehouse ranging in age from eight to 22.

Over a thousand demonstrators took over the streets of downtown Montpelier Saturday afternoon as they marched from City Hall to the Statehouse. Organizers are calling it the March for Our Future.

A post shared by Vermont Public Radio (@vprnet) on Jan 20, 2018 at 12:30pm PST

The event focused on youth, with speakers at the statehouse ranging in age from eight to 22.

Demonstrators also carried signs and banners supporting environmental causes, immigration, women’s rights, and more. Along the way some chanted, "Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go."

Although the turnout was a fraction of that of the Women’s March a year ago, the scene was similar — as a wave of people wearing pink hats with pussy cat ears marched down State Street and filed onto the statehouse lawn.

When they arrived the crowd chanted, “This is what democracy looks like."

Among the speakers was University of Vermont student Asfar Basha. He told the crowd, "I see a group of people from different backgrounds, from different identities, young and old, who have gathered together and made the decision to be on the right side of history."

In addition to young speakers, there were performances by Dante's Marching Band, A2VT and Muslim Girls Making Change.

The scheduling of the event led to some confusion regarding whether there would be a Women's March event in Vermont this year. The organizers explained their rationale in a post on their Facebook page in advance of this year's event: 

Across the country

In addition to the event in Montpelier, groups across the country gathered to mark both President Trump's first year in office and the Women's March.

"People were pretty damn mad last year, and they're pretty damn mad this year," Tamika Mallory, co-president of the Women's March board, told The Associated Press.

For more on the Women's March this year, head over to NPR.

Credit Eslah Attar / NPR
Tiana Ottley (left) and Syerra Graham stand near the Lincoln Memorial. Graham said she wanted to "shine a light on Christianity."

In the midst of a partial government shutdown, people took to the street of the nation's capital. To read profiles from the second Women's March on Washington,go here.

A look back on 2017

A year ago Sunday, 15,000 gathered in Montpelier and millions more participated in Women's Marches across the country.

The Montpelier event exceed participation expectations, causing traffic to back up on I-89 in both directions for miles, and eventually leading officials to shutdown multiple parts of the highway temporarily through midday. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Gov. Madeleine Kunin and Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman were all in attendance.

MORE: Views Of Montpelier's Historic Women's March, From A Drone

Vermonters were also among the nearly half a million in attendance at the first Women's March on Washington. VPR's Rebecca Sananes joined a group of Vermonters on their 13-hour bus journey down to the D.C. March, andgot to witness the experience.

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
Emily Alfin Johnson was a senior producer for Vermont Public Radio.
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