Thousands of marchers descended on Seneca Falls Saturday morning for the second annual Women’s March. They gathered in and around the National Women’s Rights Historical Park despite the fact that the park was officially closed due to the government shutdown.
“Somehow our park where we’re gathering today to honor women is closed.," said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul. "Okay, somebody’s got some explaining to do. Somebody’s got to explain that to me.”
Hochul opted to join marchers in Seneca Falls Saturday morning rather than in New York City.
“Last night, I was in Manhattan. I was joined by people who came from all over the country, young activists who came here to march in New York City and they said, are you going to march with us Lt. Governor? And I said, heck no. I’m going to Seneca Falls where it all began.”
Speakers at the event, including Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, acknowledged the gains in civil rights that Seneca Falls represents, but called on marchers to continue the fight for greater protections for marginalized people.
“And just as we stand here today for women’s rights we must also stand alongside our immigrant neighbors in Rochester and cities all across America who live in sanctuary cities.”
Warren also spoke to the disparities in representation in all aspects of American life.
“Let us indeed grab the torch and run brave and free. Demanding equal pay for equal work. Demanding better health care. Demanding seats in the boardroom. Demanding a place in the hall of justice. And, yes, demanding a place in Washington D.C.”
The crowd filled an area for blocks around the national park. Last year’s march drew crowds much larger than organizers expected. The Town of Seneca Falls Police estimated this year’s march exceeded last year. When it came time for the march itself, the crowd stretched the entire mile-plus route through the streets of Seneca Falls.