Government / Politics

Marching with a message

On Jan. 21, San Benito High School senior Mykenzie Camino joined thousands of people at the Women's March in San Jose
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Yes, the women's march for some was a protest ignited by the recent election results, but there were many different reasons as to why certain people made the decision to attend. 

I arrived to San Jose at the VTA station around 9 a.m. Saturday, two hours before the march began. The line to purchase tickets to board the train was a strand of pink outfits and protest signs.

As people boarded the train, we all cheered, happy to be a part of such a historic march. On the train, my mother and her friend discussed issues such as the repeal of Affordable Care Act, climate change, and, of course, the misogynistic tendencies of society.

Stepping off the train is a moment I will never forget. People of every category possible lined the streets of San Jose with the goal of making their voices heard. Signs with messages were everywhere and pleads filled the air. Pink hats to resemble cat ears were like an ocean flooding the street.

This being my first protest, I was nervous at first, but as more people crowded around, I grew a confidence I did not know I had. I chanted, sang, and even embraced the people with a "Free Hugs" sign. 

A woman approached me, and carefully read my sign which said, "I was born in 1999 not 1950. I'm not going back without a fight." After a moment's contemplation, she nodded and said, "I was there in the 50s, and let me tell you, I don't want to go back either." She went on to describe a time of inequality, and the resemblance to today's time stunned me.

As I continued to hold my sign and talk to more people, they were thankful that "youngsters" my age were still interested in issues such as women's rights. 

After that encounter, I marched with my sign high, and my intentions even higher. We walked from City Hall to Cesar Chavez Park. Every step was peaceful.

The moment my mother and I stepped into the area of Cesar Chavez Park, I witnessed a true celebration of feminism. There were poets, guest speakers, bubbles, music, and booths with groups that aided topics from mental health to environmental awareness. Astonished, I mounted an electrical box to receive a better view. It was then when I witnessed the beauty of the march in its fullest.

This march was not a protest against the president. This march was a way for people to come together in a divided time.

This march was not just for us, but for the future of the country; the mothers, sisters, daughters, grandchildren.

This march was a cry for peace and unity with the new America we have to embrace. 

So when people ask, "why march if it doesn't change anything?" look them in the face and use the words of many women I conversed with today: "This is democracy. Our voices have the right to be heard."



I am a Senior at San Benito High School. After I graduate, I plan to go to a four-year university. Photography and writing serve as two of my hobbies, so I hope to continue them in the future as well.