At International Women’s Day rally in Philly, participants focus on Trump

They marched. They skipped work. They chanted and they protested.

In Philadelphia, women staged a series of demonstrations on International Women’s Day on Wednesday to celebrate “social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.”

And to denounce President Donald Trump.

“There needs to be a revolution, and women need to lead it,” said Beverly Rolfsmeyer, 72, as she joined others gathered in Logan Square for the afternoon rally and march.

It was to support “A Day Without a Woman” protest, which called on women to skip work or other economic activity and draw attention to their role in society. The organizers of the Women’s March on Washington in January put together “A Day Without a Woman,” which became the theme of dozens of rallies throughout the country.

The event was the latest in a series of activist actions that have followed Trump’s election.

“We’re not being represented. We’re not even being considered,” Rolfsmeyer said before the march at Logan Square, which ended up a few blocks away at Thomas Paine Plaza. “We’re back to the same old white men in charge. We have a misogynist… I won’t say president; I don’t consider him my president.”

Victoria Kessler, 24, said the event was her first protest, and that she was inspired by the power of the “statement” made by “A Day Without a Woman.” She took a vacation day to miss work and used the free time to make a sign for the afternoon march.

“I wanted to show I’m not for discrimination in the workplace, wage gap, or a lack of maternity leave,” Kessler said. “If we’re supposed to be living in 2017, where women are supposed to be treated equally, why don’t we have a paid year of maternity leave like other countries?”

Marty Harrison, 52, a nurse at Temple University Hospital and member of the Philadelphia Socialist Alternative, said that since Trump’s election, “there’s been more resistance than at any time since the Vietnam War.”

But Harrison noted that there are specific values behind the protests, as well.

“International Women’s Day is not just about fighting for more women CEOs, the liberal feminism of the 1 percent,” Harrison said. “It’s about a $15 an hour minimum wage, access to reproductive health care, and liberation from sexism, patriarchy and misogyny.”

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