Article and Photos by Ty O’Neil | Video by Dana Nollsch and Bob Conrad
The Reno Women’s March, held today, will likely stand as one of Reno’s largest protests for the foreseeable future, far surpassing the predicted amount based on Facebook interactions. Reno police estimated the crowd to be about 10,000 people.
The entire length of the march route from the courthouse to the city plaza was at a point entirely covered with protesters. Protesters stood shoulder-to-shoulder being led in chants by event organizers like Bob Fulkerson, who took a leading role arranging coordinators, identifiable by their yellow vests, and assisting the marchers.
The chanting themes centered around President Donald Trump, with “not my president” being a favorite mantra.
A multitude of interests were represented in the march, including anarchist, socialist, LGBTQ rights, indigenous rights, refugee rights, pro-choice activists, anti-capitalists, feminists, revolutionaries, and likely many more swallowed up by the sheer size of the crowd.
They did seem to have one unifying passion bringing them together: a loathing for the newly sworn in president.
Protest signs pulled few punches, and a majority of signs referenced the audio clip of Donald Trump talking about groping women. Some more humorous participants took to mockingly displaying Trump’s hair.
The unifying symbol of the movement, both in Reno and nationally, was the pink “pussy hats.” Their outward appearance is, to this journalist’s understanding, representative of a cat’s ears. Using the vulgar slang term for female genitalia, and cat in its original usage, the two meanings have been combined into a symbol for women’s rights.
Speaking with members of the crowd, many voiced concerns that while the march had been a roaring success they feared for the movement’s future momentum.
With so many groups participating with their own separate interests this seems like a distinct possibility. Perhaps the 2018 Senate elections will be the evidence one way or another.
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Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.