The third annual Hilo Women’s March was as much a celebration as a demonstration, with many participants still riding the wave of excitement from the influx of women being elected to Congress last November.
“The first march we brought awareness, the second march we brought candidates to the mid-terms — and 107 women were elected — and this year our goals and action and movement is going to change the country,” said Arlene Buklarewicz of Volcano.
The march began shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday behind the state building on Aupuni Street, and circled through downtown. Several hundred people participated.
The marches started nationally as a rebuke to President Donald Trump. Participants say they object to his temperament, demeaning comments about women, and positions on a wide range of issues, including the environment, economy and immigration.
Edna Montague of Ocean View said the Trump administration is all about “me” and not caring about the average person.
“I don’t see any compassion in our current government,” she said.
“I don’t think the rich should get all the breaks and the poor can’t afford health care and childcare.”
While the energy of the marchers was palpable, overall turnout appeared down this year, one participant noted. That would reflect a trend at other women’s marches nationally.
Organizers said their goal is to tap that energy and stay active throughout the year.
“People are still jazzed,” said Jennifer Kagiwada. “We’re hoping to reenergize and celebrate today, and move on from there.”
Montague felt she had no choice but to participate. She said her parents were active in the Civil Rights movement in the south, and she’s concerned that progress on social issues is being lost.
“I can’t be quiet,” Montague said. “If I’m quiet, then I’m part of the problem.”
Email Tom Callis at firstname.lastname@example.org.