‘Peaceful protests can change the world’: Women, LGBTQ+ march to protest rights


Rob Le Cates

More than 60 people attended the March For Our Lives rally sponsored by the Coles County Democrats and Coles Progressives at the Coles County Courthouse on June 11.

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez, Campus Reporter

A Women’s Wave and LGBT+ Wave is being held Saturday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Charleston in connection with women’s marches happening across the United States. 

The march will start on Eastern’s campus by the gate on Lincoln Ave. Then the march will continue up 7th St to the Coles County Courthouse, 651 Jackson Ave, for a rally at 5 p.m.  

This march is happening as part of the National Weekend of Action, which is from Oct. 7 to Oct. 9. It is also happening in preparation for Election Day, which is exactly 31 days from the day of the marches.  

Dozens of marches and rallies are being hosted across the country, to “support freedom for everyone, regardless of gender, to control our own bodies, our own choices and our own lives,” according to the Women’s March website.  

The Women’s Wave and LGBT+ Wave in Charleston is happening to “send the message, women and LGBT+ demand our rights,” according to the Women’s March website.  

Silver Damsen, the director of Lincoln Ave. Progressives, helped organize the march. 

Lincoln Ave. Progressives is an organization that focuses on activism regarding abortion rights, LGBTQ+ issues, environmentalism and more.  

“I think it is important to pair with the national events because this ties the local back to national,” Damsen said. “An event that is just local is great and helps increase knowledge and participation in the local community, which makes it a better and more representative place to live. However, tying the local to the national helps creates a feedback loop of good results. A protest in Charleston that is tied to national protests tells politicians in Charleston what people want here, and also gives support to all other abortion rights protests in the whole of the United States. So each individual protest supports all the other individual protests across the US magnifying the results.”

Damsen said protests can influence political decisions and politicians.

“When politicians understand that they have to contend with a movement that has focus and energy and is both local and national, they have to give the people what they want in a democracy,” Damsen said. “Protests are then about more than just about letting off steam and feeling good, even if they can, and often do, give someone a rush. Protests are essential in a democracy and tell politicians what they must fight for if they want to maintain the support of their voters. Peaceful protests can change the world.”

Participants are encouraged to bring signs and wear the color green, considering the color green is associated with reproductive rights protests. It is a symbol of abortion rights around the world.  

Damsen said that the Women’s March organization asks participants not to bring hangers or posters mentioning hangers, as well as any Handmaid’s Tale imagery.  

Damsen said that participants are also asked not to engage with counter protesters and to be respectful.  

Those interested in attending can do so on the Women’s March website through the following link: https://action.womensmarch.com/events/women-s-wave-and-lgbt-wavehttps://action.womensmarch.com/events/women-s-wave-and-lgbt-wave

Damsen said that those interested in participating in the march can also just show up.  


Kyara Morales-Rodriguez can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].