This is a guest post about the Moral March on Raleigh, that happened on February 8th, from an intern at Planned Parenthood Health Systems, our sister affiliate here in North Carolina.
Wow. Who knew that one of my first assignments as an intern at Planned Parenthood would lead to an event filled with tens of thousands of people? To say that the Moral March on Raleigh was a success is an understatement. First of all, it didn’t rain! With rain in the forecast the whole week, the streets filled with pink hats and a gray overcast sky above was a beautiful site. Second on the list of accomplishments, the groups turned out well over 25,000 people. In fact, Planned Parenthood exceeded its goal of having 800 supporters at the march and a pink sea emerged among the crowd. Over 1,000 pink hats were handed out in less than two hours to those who support women’s health. No matter what cause had brought individuals to the Moral March, the march was a success because it brought a diverse group of people together in a way that I have never seen before.
Looking around the crowd, there were so many reasons for why people were marching. Some carried signs protesting against fracking, while others demanded Medicaid to be expanded. There were LGBTQ activists, and a little further into the crowd there was a person holding a sign asking for the minimum wage to be raised and others wanting to advocate for immigration rights. I knew that there would be a diverse crowd, after all the NAACP and the 150 coalition partners support a wide variety of issues. What I did not expect to see, however, was the incredible unity among the crowd. Some carried multiple signs for differing issues, many sported Planned Parenthood’s pink hat and stickers but no matter what, there was an unquestioned support for all issues present at the march. In short, the crowd truly embodied that idea that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
For me, the Moral March proved that a third fusion movement is in fact on the rise, and I cannot imagine being anything less than thrilled. As a person who feels strongly about equality, I have always viewed the Civil Rights Movement as extraordinary. However, I never dreamed that I would be a part of the next movement, and I am so thankful that my internship has led me to being so involved.