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“We Want to Stand Up & Be Counted”: New Yorkers Speak Out at NYC’s Day Without a Woman Rally

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In New York, thousands of women marched from Washington Square Park past the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history and a seminal moment for the American labor rights movement. They proceeded past the historic LGBTQ landmark, Stonewall Inn, in the West Village and then ended the march in Zuccotti Park, the site of the 2011 Occupy Wall Street uprising. Democracy Now!’s Deena Guzder and Charina Nadura spoke to some of the protesters.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We continue our coverage from International Women’s Day protests, here in the United States dubbed “A Day Without a Woman.” Democracy Now!’s Deena Guzder spoke to women in Washington Square Park.

JESS LEHMANN: My name is Jess Lehmann. And we came out, actually, with my colleagues from our office. We collectively have had the opportunity to strike together. I think something that felt important to me was actually standing in solidarity with the women who do do work that means that the fabric of society stays together, and I think they mentioned it here before, but all the unpaid work that goes into contributing to wealth in this society and all societies across the world.

DEENA GUZDER: This International Women’s Day is the first one after Donald Trump’s inauguration. What are your thoughts about his presidency so far, as a woman?

JESS LEHMANN: I feel like my—like the first thought was of being terrified and angry—really angry—angry that women are still having to fight for fundamental rights to own their own body and that any one other person should claim that they have ownership over that, will have the right to determine what’s right or you, because we are self-actualized beings, right? We’re also humans. So we should have the chance to be treated as such. I think, then, it’s turned into a kind of desire to be active and to channel those feelings and thoughts into something that’s productive, and also to be very sensitive. You know, I know that I have certain privileges, and that’s not the same for everyone.

IMAN YAHIA: My name is Iman Yahia, and I am a pharmacy student from LIU, Long Island University, in Brooklyn. Well, obviously, I’m a woman. And particularly, I’m a Muslim woman. And I’m very proud of that. And I’m here to support all women. As a Muslim New Yorker and a soon-to-be working woman, I feel like we’re underprivileged in a lot of areas in society, and we’re not appreciated enough.

DEENA GUZDER: And we’re speaking just days after Donald Trump announced his second version of his travel ban, what many are calling a Muslim travel ban. Your response to this new travel ban?

IMAN YAHIA: Just like it came down the first time, it will come down the second time. That’s what I have to say about it. I mean, people are resisting. We’re going to continue resisting. Resisting works, so that’s what we’re going to do.

MIRIAM BRODY: My name is Miriam Brody, and this is Isaac Kramnick. And we are here to support the various coalitions that come together to celebrate International Women’s Day in this manifestation of, we hope, our strength, going forward, to resist the movement afoot, alas, in the United States, which will affect us and the world. We are all aware of the great threats, on so many levels, to our freedoms, to the climate, to our healthcare. And we think it’s imperative to stand up and be counted. And it’s not a moment to sit back.

XIMENA MÁLAGA SABOGAL: My name is Ximena Málaga Sabogal. I’m from Peru. And my sign says ”Vivas Nos Queremos, Ni Una Menos.” This was the slogan of a big campaign that started last year in Latin America because of a ola—how do you say ola—because of a wave of femicides and crimes against women that were, sadly, pretty much availed by the states, that didn’t do anything to fight them. So it’s something that started in Peru, went through Argentina, Mexico and many other Latin American countries. And we also feel that, from here, women that are immigrants, that are living here in the States, sadly, we don’t feel that that situation changes at all. So, it’s just a wake-up call now. It’s ”Ni Una Menos” because we don’t want more victims of gender violence.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s voices from A Day Without a Woman rally in Washington Square Park in the Village in New York City. You can go to our website at democracynow.org to hear more voices from the protest.

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