Charlottesville Gathers holds rally in IX art park

Non-partisan rally in solidarity with Women's March on Washington

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The mini march was intended for people who could not attend the march in D.C. for logistical or mobility issues.

Courtesy Charlottesville Gathers

Charlottesville Gathers, a local rally planned in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington, took place Saturday morning at IX Art Park. The rally included a mini march in the park, musical performances and a livestream of the Women’s March on Washington.

Unlike the Women’s March on Washington, Charlottesville Gathers emphasized on their Facebook page they were pledging to stay nonpartisan. The mini march was intended for people who could not attend the march in D.C. for logistical or mobility issues so the march route was intentionally short and accessible.

One such participant who couldn’t attend the March on Washington due to logistical difficulties was third-year College student Hannah Mezzacappa, who has a passion for women’s rights issues.

“I think it’s really important to go out and be present and actually do things for the kind of things you believe in,” Mezzacappa said. “I just think it’s really powerful to go and be in a community of people who have that same point of view or the same passion for standing up for their rights as I do.”

Mezzacappa said the most empowering moment of the march for her was seeing everyone, including children and elderly people, participate early Saturday morning as opposed to spending their time in a more leisurely way.

“I walked around and did the march, and it was just kind of cool to see all the different people there, it was very heartening.”

Mezzacappa said she recognized the importance of participating in the march as a University student.

“In the local context of the Charlottesville community, and there not being a divide between the University and Charlottesville proper, because we have the privilege of being really educated and going to an amazing university and we don’t want to keep that to themselves,” Mezzacappa said. “It shows we’re using this education for something tangible that’s going to make a difference.”

Samantha Madison, a third-year College student, had similar sentiments about the march and its effect on her.

“I've never really been to an event like that and seen such a diverse group of people come together for an important cause,” Madison said in an email statement. “My favorite part was probably seeing all the young children with the signs that they had made.”

Madison said she felt the rally in Charlottesville was uplifting and made her think about what a difference the young children could make in the future.

“For me, it was important to participate to show support for a future where everyone, regardless of gender or race or sexuality, is given the same rights and treated with the same level of respect,” Madison said.  

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