By Amber Roos
– On March 9 there was a Women’s March in Amsterdam, where around 15,000 people came together to march for equal rights and against oppression. Many Amsterdam University College (AUC) students could be found in the crowd that rainy Saturday.
The event started at Dam Square with Museumplein as its final destination. According to Zahra Cobben, a second-year Science major, there was a certain energy in the air which made the day special. “We were surrounded by many great activists and enthusiastic people,” she said.
Marta Ceccarelli, a first-year Social Science major, also enjoyed the protest – especially its focus on intersectionality. “The march exceeded my expectations, I definitely felt empowered, strong, and loved,” she said. Ceccarelli also noted how much she liked the actual marching, with the sound of drums and the many messages on signs adding to a vibrant atmosphere.
Besides it being a fun experience, there was also a different side to the march. “It was an emotional but important day,” said Bibi Piets, a second-year Humanities major. “[The protest] is important because there are still so many different people excluded from society in so many different ways.”
Margot Baar, a second-year Humanities major, also recognised the intersectionality evident in the march. “[The women’s march] is more of an umbrella term of protesting against all forms of oppression, against homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia, racism and ableism.”
There were many different reasons to walk for the students, one of them being the simple fact that they have the freedom to participate in protest. “I believe it is important for those who can use their voice to do so, because there are many women and girls out there who do not have this chance,” said Cobben. “Despite the shitty Dutch weather, it was super crowded and whilst talking about the importance of these inequalities of gender and [about] minority groups that experience oppression, the cold and the rain quickly faded into the background.”
“Everyone has their own connection to the march and personal reason to join but in the end, you are all fighting for the same thing: equal rights for EVERYONE,” said Piets.