meet the australians who marched for equality this weekend

We spoke to protesters in Sydney about what they’re fighting for in 2017, and why they remain hopeful.

by i-D Staff
|
23 January 2017, 3:35pm

When Donald Trump was sworn in as 45th President of the United States on Friday, he appeared to mark the beginning of a period of unparalleled uncertainty and trepidation around the globe. His inauguration speech groaned under the hate and fear-mongering that colored his campaign. Mere moments after taking the oath of office, the White House website was updated to reflect his priorities and beliefs: mentions of Barack Obama's climate change initiatives were erased, as were all references to LGBT and civil rights.

But as the new President began his term under a fog of oppression and lies, millions of individuals around the world made it clear that they could not, and would not be silenced. On Saturday women and allies across the planet marched together to oppose not only the new President's despicable history of abuse and misogyny, but also to signal that this new age of "American carnage" would be accompanied by a fresh culture of activism, solidarity, and intersectional cooperation.

While events had a firm focus on women's rights, speakers and attendees highlighted additional causes that they would continue to fight for. In Australia, our own failure to grant gay and lesbian couples the right to marry was a central topic, as were Indigenous land and refugee rights. Using the time to interrogate our own conservative government, it was ultimately a meditation of the power of activism. 

Akira Crease, 16, student

Why did you come out today? To learn more about the issues being discussed. What are you marching for? Equality. Human rights. The rights of women. How do you feel about Trump taking office this week? Sad, worried, and angry for its global impact. How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? By raising awareness, getting more young people involved in issues, by creating policies that actually create change. What are you working to change or improve this year? My knowledge in global issues, and growing my knowledge on feminism. What are you hopeful for in 2017? For the Australian offshore detention camps to be closed. If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be? To magically solve the Syrian conflict.

Enrico Resuta, 22, banker

Why did you come out today? To support what's right. What are you marching for? Equality. How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? By actually listening to us. What are you working to change or improve this year? To help empower others by spreading positivity. What are you hopeful for in 2017? Equality. If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be? To change the way we look at each other. We are all the same and we can do the same.

Missy, 38, musician

Why did you come out today? To voice my support for women. What are you marching for? Equality. How do you feel about Trump taking office this week? I feel empowered more than ever to make change. How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? Listen to communities. What are you working to change or improve this year? Incorporating messages into my music to make change. Empowering people through positive change. What are you hopeful for in 2017? More freedom of speech and peace. If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be? Corporate takeovers of environmental areas.

Osha, 27, sales manager

Why did you come out today? To support women and all people being marginalized in this discourse. To stand against Trump, even if I'm not at home in the US. What are you marching for? Equality, empowerment of all peoples! How do you feel about Trump taking office this week? It's the most disturbing thing, it's fundamentally changed the way I see the world. How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? More attention on equality in the workplace, supporting education in technology and science for young women, supporting reproductive rights! What are you working to change or improve this year? Becoming more involved in activism and supporting the issues I care about. Not being passive. What are you hopeful for in 2017? People who haven't been engaged before finding their cause and becoming active. If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be? Can we keep Obama please?

Athena, 26, artist

Why did you come out today? For the sisterhood. What are you marching for? My sisters. How do you feel about Trump taking office this week? It's fucked but not surprising. How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? Take notes from women of color, especially Indigenous women, trans women, and sex workers. What are you working to change or improve this year? Being on the frontline for those who can't be. What are you hopeful for in 2017? Adoring the femmes.

Daniel, 26, ceramicist

Why did you come out today? To support equality. What are you marching for? The right to speak out against injustices. How do you feel about Trump taking office this week? It feels both surreal and deafeningly real when reflecting on the state of the world currently. I couldn't believe it happened but it almost feels it was the next move. How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? Recognize there is a problem and address it publicly. Give people an incentive to be decent. What are you working to change or improve this year? Improve self awareness and my ability to invest in discussion of the issues we face. What are you hopeful for in 2017? A call to arms so to speak. People banding together in greater numbers to create positive change. If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be? There is no incentive to be decent and that needs to change.

Bridie, 17, barista

Why did you come out today? Equality shouldn't still be considered an issue in 2017. What are you marching for? For women's rights, and against all discrimination. How do you feel about Trump taking office this week? Fucking awful. How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? Actually listen to the female population. What are you working to change or improve this year? Equal marriage and spreading awareness of current discrimination in society. What are you hopeful for in 2017? Marriage equality needs to be passed. If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be? Dump Trump and end capitalism.

Jose, 35, graphic designer

Why did you come out today? For my sister. What are you marching for? For my sister. How do you feel about Trump taking office this week? Disappointed in the people of the USA. I thought they were smarter than that. How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? Put themselves in their shoes for a change. What are you working to change or improve this year? Spend more time with the women in my life. What are you hopeful for in 2017? Hopeful people will take ACTION.

Eden, 20, design student

Why did you come out today? To support my fellow women in achieving respect for all. How do you feel about Trump taking office this week? Pretty devastated. How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? No more tampon tax! What are you working to change or improve this year? Body image of my lady pals, and how men view women's bodies. What are you hopeful for in 2017? Gender equality. If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be? Women preachin! I want to see leading women's voices being valid in all areas of life.

Aidan, 23, musician

Why did you come out today? To show support from men for women's rights. What are you marching for? To show that taking steps backwards isn't ok, it's absurd. How do you feel about Trump taking office this week? Sick. How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? Better pay for nurses, midwives. Supporting home birth. Equal pay. What are you working to change or improve this year? Opinions of men my age. What are you hopeful for in 2017? Some form of powerful rebellion against Tump and what he embodies. If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be? Inclusion of life-lessons in school: Aboriginal history, gender, economics.

Jack Harman, 22, student

Why did you come out today? To support women and march alongside friends. How do you feel about Trump taking office this week? Well it happened... How can Australian leaders improve women's lives in 2017? They could be more inclusive. Listen to women and the people of Australia. What are you hopeful for in 2017? People's ideas to change and make positive difference. If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be? Equal rights.

Credits


Photography Lyndsay Noyes

Tagged:
activism
protest
LGBT rights
women's rights
Sydney
indigenous rights
Refugee Rights
women's march