2017 sparks activists to advocate for advancements and justice


Photo Credit: photo via Pixabay under creative commons

“My Body, My choice” crowds fill the streets at the 2017 Womens march in January.

By: Angelique Richardson, Senior News Editor

Throughout the revolutionary year of 2017, many events shaped the course of the United States and the world.

The Women’s March

On January 21st, according to USA Today 2.6 million women worldwide forced the world to recognize their cry . The goal of the march was to advocate for women’s rights, reproductive rights, diversity, and females in politics. In the US, Washington’s streets were full, containing over 500,000 people holding signs and standing side by side. Los Angeles was busy that day, as it also had over 500,000 people in the streets. New York had over 200,000 people. Chicago racked in with about 150,000 people. Denver, Boston, London all had over 100,000 citizens packing the streets and showing support. Paris and Sydney had over 5,000. Antarctica had 30, but their population in January is only around one thousand people.

New York City 2017 Pride Parade

On June 25th, the annual pride parade took place in the heart of NYC. The parade advocates for the LGBT+ community. Starting at Midtown near Fifth Avenue, crowds march down Fifth Ave until they reach Eighth, then turning west onto Christopher Street, ending at Greenwich street. During this march, people held up signs with words full of encouragement and acceptance. Floats and committees travel the route along with the crowd carrying the big rainbow balloon arch.  Rainbow flags fill the air in waves, along with other rainbow-themed items. When the crowd has made it to their destination, they have an opportunity to partake in events.

St. Louis Protests

During the days of September 5th through October 3rd, continuous protests broke out in the streets of St. Louis, Missouri when a judge found a white Police Officer was found not guilty of killing  Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man. Police brutality has hit its all-time high setting off people everywhere. During the nightly protests in Missouri, signs full of anger were held to the sky. “Love conquers all,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Stop Police Brutality” and even signs reading “Road Closed Due to Injustice” all could be seen in the hands of the people. In efforts to prevent police brutality, St. Louis locked arms and stood together as one long linked chain. Although many people viewed the protests as justice, others believe that we have bigger problems on the rise.

The ‘Dreamers’ March

In August of 2017, around 1,200 Connecticut’s ‘Dreamers’ gathered in D.C. to fight for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an executive immigration policy previously passed by Obama allowing minors who entered the United States illegally to obtain a work visa and a renewable biyearly deferment of deportation. DACA supporters called ‘Dreamers’ urged congress not to end the funding for this program which has been in action since 2014. If the current administration ends DACA, an estimated 800,000 dreamers could be deported from the place they have called home since childhood according to the CTPost.

The start of 2018 continued with activism possibly forecasting another year of movements.

Oprah Winfrey’s 2018 Golden Globe Speech

On Sunday, January 7th, the Golden Globes Awards aired on television for most of the world to see. The attendees wore black in protest of sexual harassment. But beyond the glitter and glam, one speech caught the attention of many, even making headlines. Oprah Winfrey won the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Winfrey is the first woman to accept and receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award. While accepting her award, she told a story of hardships and the capability that every person has to be great. She uses words to captivate and encourage the audience in a way that expresses her own emotions. In addition to addressing the conversation to women, Winfrey also shed light on the men that do the right thing. Ending her speech with the hope that no one has to say “Me Too” again, she collects applause and standing ovations.

While these movements of activism open the world to acceptance and a year of change, some see this as an opportunity for sensitivity to breed and restrict freedom of speech. But all in all, 2017 was the year of revolution, as citizens tried to bring about change. 2018 has already seen the Woman’s March and a DACA ‘Dreamers’ March. Both groups plan to be in the headlines quite frequently in 2018 as they try to obtain equality and citizenship. Who else will march forward this year?