Amy Bennett arrived in Huron from Gainesville, Va. just last October.
A consummate activist, Bennett planned to join the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. But when she heard about a local march to support the movement, she had decided to stay in the state and join them.
Bennett and about 130 people from the Pierre-Fort Pierre area, along with some from other states joined the Pierre Women’s March outside the Capitol building last Saturday, said organizer Roxanne Weber from South Dakota Forward.
The march was to “reaffirm the core American values of freedom and democracy for all, at a time when many fear that their voices be lost,” Weber said in a news release.
Participants gathered at the south parking lot of the Capitol building at about 2 p.m., to listen to a few speeches before heading out marching at 2:30 p.m.
The group marched along Capitol Avenue, then turned onto Nicollet Avenue and returned to the Capitol. They chanted slogans addressing the needs of women, such as unity, democracy and justice, along with signs and banners promoting equality and love.
“I believe in equal rights for all citizens,” Bennett said.
She said the march will create an impact because it showed solidarity with the women worldwide.
“This is not just in Pierre, South Dakota. We have this march all day long, all around the world,” Bennett said.
Weber said the idea of a local march came to her group of 12 people about a week ago, when they were trying to find a way to make a difference. They then decided to “get Pierre on the map of the women’s march website,” she said.
The idea received many responses, Weber said. “We’re just being a little vigilant about watching what’s going on, and letting people know when there’s thing they should be concerned about,” she said.
Weber said the South Dakota Forward group has about 1500 members in the state, which often makes contact with the state legislature when they see an issue.
“We are not taking a political side,” she said. “This is action for issues.”
Weber said the march helped the group to get more members.
“We got more people in our email list, so there’s more people mobilized locally and in our surrounding areas,” she said. “The outcome is we have more people to mobilize when issues come up that need attention in state government.”