One year after the first Women’s March, Arkansans will again rally at the state Capitol this Saturday, Jan. 20.
This year, women (and men) will be taking to the streets with a slightly different cause. Instead of a women’s march, this will be a March on the Polls, organized by the new grassroots organization, March On, Arkansas!
March On, Arkansas! is a subsidiary of March On!, a nationwide movement to encourage more women to sign up to vote and become involved in their local politics, according to lead organizer of March On, Arkansas!, Gwen Combs.
“#MarchOn is uniquely postured to activate, organize, and mobilize women voters across the United States because it is made up of women already doing the hard work in their communities through its network of affiliates like #MarchOnArkansas,” Combs said.
Combs, who also organized last year’s Women’s March in Arkansas, is a candidate in the democratic party’s primary elections to decide who will challenge republican incumbent, French Hill, for his seat in the House of Representatives later this year..
The event will begin at 11 a.m., on the corner of West Capitol Avenue and South Pulaski Street, in Little Rock. The crowd will hear from a small selection of women candidates at noon, before marching to the Capitol steps at 12:30 p.m., according to March On Arkansas’s Facebook event page.
Once the march reaches the Capitol, the 8th Annual Rally for Reproductive Justice will begin. According to the Coalition’s Facebook event page, presenters will speak on several issues, including: immigration/DACA, sexual assault awareness, human rights, and the importance of saving our schools.
Following the reproductive rally, participants are encouraged to attend a #MeToo panel discussion of Arkansas women who have survived sexual assault, and an audio book signing by author Shirley Marie Johnson.
Last year during the Women’s March, Little Rock saw 7,000 women from all over the state participate. This year, Combs said she is expecting at least 1,500 women to show up for the March on the Polls, but is hoping for a greater turnout based on last year’s numbers.
“So far, we have had at least 1,500 sign up on our Event Brite ticketing site,” Combs said, “but this year it’s really hard to guess.”