New year, same issues: Women's March in Rochester

Jan 20, 2018

Washington Square Park was filled with pink hats and protest signs once again as the second Womens March gathered in downtown Rochester on Saturday.

Caroline Benec was out with a group of friends, she said as University of Rochester students they felt it was important to attend.

"We figured that there’s a lot of movement right now on campus with the current administration and personally I felt that it was important that we represent our school in Rochester especially because there was such a big pool to Seneca Falls. But it’s important to have representation everywhere and to represent our own community."

Emily Corbett-Valade was with her, she said she came to this event because she was inspired by last year’s march.

"I’m really angry that we still have to protest all of the same issues that we did last year so, I just think it’s really important to keep talking about all these issues because that is how we make change."

The women mentioned healthcare and DACA as some of their biggest concerns.

Larissa Lalka was at the rally with her family, her daughter Madelline Otten held a rainbow "Love Trumps Hate" sign.

Lalka said they discussed as a family why it was important to come out.

"If we don’t come out as a group and show that we're against the current administrations behavior and policies, then no one is going to know. It’s more important to go out and show how you feel in a group rather than just sit home and complain about it."

David Otten agreed saying he believes the current administration does things to stack the deck against those that are less fortunate.

“We want to come out and do at least our part to try to be engaged in the process of expressing how we feel."

With a smaller turn out than last year, both agree that was probably the case because the wounds were fresh in 2017.

Patti Ronsvalle, in an all pink outfit, held a sign that said "Nostalgic for Sanity." She’s a mental health therapist.

"We work very hard to try to instill basic mental health information and calming people down and when we have the chaos that’s been going on in our government and around the world, it tends to make people very nervous. And we see a lot more anxiety in our practices, a lot more depression."

She said it has a lot to do with the idea of feeling out of control, and added that young women need to speak out, run for office and vote.

Women’s Marches were held across the country and will continue into Sunday. The next closest was in Seneca Falls.