In Photos: Women’s March on Asheville 2018

Women's March event organizers (left to right) Aiden Justus, Isabelle Freireich, Sarah Kate Head and Sawyer Taylor-Arnold. Photo by Cindy Kunst
Women's March event organizers (left to right) Aiden Justus, Isabelle Freireich, Sarah Kate Head and Sawyer Taylor-Arnold. Photo by Cindy Kunst

An estimated 3,000 marchers turned out for the Women’s March on Asheville on Jan. 20, the first anniversary of last year’s march, which occurred on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The 2018 march once again was held in solidarity with women’s marches all over the country.

This year’s event local was organized by four Asheville High School students: Sawyer Taylor-Arnold, Aiden Justus, Sarah Kate Head and Isabelle Freireich. “I hope people use this march as a catalyst for change and as an opportunity to meet people and get stuff going, start voting and registering people to vote. I really hope that people use this as an opportunity to get out in their community, get involved and not make this their one event of the year, “ said Taylor-Arnold.

Marchers held signs for a wide range of issues: ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protections for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally who were brought here as children, health care reform, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, Black Lives Matter, calls for peace, calls for the impeachment of Trump and calls for unity.

Before the march, attendees gathered at Memorial Stadium, where speakers included Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, who recounted what she saw as progress for women in the past year. She encouraged those assembled to “march on” and demonstrate their collective power at the voting booth.

Newly elected Asheville City Council member Sheneika Smith said she had not aspired to become an elected official before her experience in the Black Lives Matter movement. She added that many women did not join the march this year because they did not feel represented. “It starts and it ends with what you let take root in your heart. Our hearts are often like our purses — full of crap that we don’t really need,” she said. “Oftentimes, we have to dump out some of the most embarrassing things in order to find our keys. Our keys! Our keys are the tools that we need to unlock our sanity, our self-worth and our peace.”

Smith ended her remarks with a call for all women to work together. “I urge you today to unpack your purse of every moment and rid yourself of everything that you would like to personally achieve today to make room for another woman’s dignity,” she said. “There is a great task before us, and intersectionality is what we need in order to fight the fight before us. Because if one of us is bound by racism; if one of us is bound by poverty; if one of us is bound by militarism, mass deportation and mass incarceration, then none of us are free.”

As the speakers finished, marchers streamed out of Memorial Stadium and onto the sidewalks along Biltmore Avenue. Asheville firefighters and police officers were on hand to manage traffic and make sure marchers stayed on the sidewalks. Upon reaching the Vance Monument, marchers congregated and waved protest signs at honking cars. Attendees took turns at an open mic projected by portable speakers until all marchers had finished the route.

All photos by Cindy Kunst

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14 thoughts on “In Photos: Women’s March on Asheville 2018

  1. Lulz

    LOL, what are they protesting again? Oh I know, they have to wear burkas and are banned from driving lulz. These “women” are among the most privileged in the world. They are also among the most ungrateful as well. They really don’t deserve the freedoms they have because of that.

    • luther blissett

      “They really don’t deserve the freedoms they have because of that.”

      Behold the patriarchy: mediocre men who sincerely believe women are indebted to them and should show their gratitude. Mediocre men are going to hate what’s coming.

      • Lulz

        LOL, behold modern American women. Somehow never make it to places in the world where women are REALLY treated poorly. But they sure can show up to a place where they KNOW they’re safe and whine.

        • luther blissett

          “they sure can show up to a place where they KNOW they’re safe”

          Not safe as in “safe from domestic violence” or “safe from dying in childbirth” or “safe from sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace” or “safe from being fired for getting pregnant”.

          You seem angry. Should these ungrateful women be taught a lesson?

      • bsummers

        They are also among the most ungrateful as well.

        Yeah, LOL we gave them the right to vote, and they thanked us by going out & voting for liberals. lulz. That GOP official out in Utah was right – we should repeal the 19th Amendment! C’mon, guys – who’s with me???!!! LOL #HandmaidsTaleIsAGreatDocumentary lulz.

    • NFB

      “These “women” are among the most privileged in the world. ”

      As opposed to all those monumentally oppressed tea party people who spent 8 years whining about the Obama administration, right? Talk about LOL!

      If these protests upset you, well, get ready babycakes. You ain’s seen nothin’ yet!

      • Lulz

        LOL they don’t upset me. They’re a joke and make a mockery of the freedom and rights they have.

        • NFB

          “They’re a joke and make a mockery of the freedom and rights they have.”

          But enough about the tea baggers.

  2. Enlightened Enigma

    hmm, mostly ALL white folks … Did Sheneika Smith address the black on black murder at the Dollar General on Friday afternoon? Black lives matter, but not to other blacks it seems. Sheneika needs to learn that poverty has NOTHING to do with FREEDOM. DUH.

    where were all the black womens?

  3. Barney Sloan

    I don’t understand how these women marching-around in circles carrying signs like “Love Wins,” “Watch Us Vote,” “My Body Belongs to Me,” “I Will Not Go Quietly,” etc. is going to change one thing. Okay, it makes them feel good. That’s fine. But, what are they doing the other 364 days of the year? So, go vote. Fine. That’s doing something. But, otherwise, who cares? Really. Less chatter, more action. I don’t need or want to see signs about your vagina, how you’re a “Goddess” (give me a break), and the feel-good quotes you pulled from Google. Further, dragging little children out into such events and having them wear signs with the parents’ agenda is really too much. Those kids aren’t able to comprehend what’s happening. Let them make-up their own minds, as they mature. Teach them by example. But, don’t force them into your agenda. Anyway, the world turns. Not much changes. Yawn.

    • Lulz

      LOL, they’re all so independent and strong that they have to gather together once a year to cry about how strong and independent they are lulz.

  4. R

    Thank you Aiden, Isabelle, Sarah Kate, and Sawyer for organizing the march and seeing your vision come to life. And pay no attention to the anonymous contrarian edgelords here and elsewhere. Keep dreaming and pushing for more as you step into adulthood. This country needs more good people like you.

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