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Women's March Saturday


The third annual Women’s March is this Saturday in Fairbanks. Organizers are trying to be more inclusive in their planning, and have changed the focus of this event a little this year. Traditional women’s issues like equal pay and childcare are always on the agenda, but this year organizers want to narrow the focus to local issues.

The march begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ryan Middle School, with a route up and down Lathrop Street.

Paige Poston opens a package of cardboard to make signs for marchers to carry at the event.

She says this sign painting party was offered to build solidarity and provide materials for those who might not be able to buy them; part of the drive to include all sectors of the community in organizing the event.

Poston says a group called the Fairbanks Activist Forum has so far been joined by other sponsors:

“Access Alaska, the Alaska Center, Fairbanks Activist Forum, Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, Gender Pioneers, the Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living, Native Movement…”

…and a long list of individuals. Poston says although the Interior Democrats were able to sponsor, Republicans should feel welcome too.

This year, especially compared to previous years, is so hyper-local, that the party politics doesn’t matter. It’s not like a liberal event or a Democrat event; it’s a Fairbanks event. The issues we are focusing on, like homelessness, and violence against women, and the non-discrimination ordinance, that affects everybody.”

Alyssa Quintyne of the Alaska Center, says the March will begin and end at Ryan Middle School, and instead of a rally to finish it off, topical workshops will give marches more information on issues of the day.

“Local climate issues and action, a workshop on the Violence Against Women Act, a workshop on Title IX, and a general public-comment-public-testimony workshop, so if you haven’t done that before, you can learn.”

They would like participants to know how to comment in front of a city council, school board or borough assembly, for example, or write comments on federal legislation. Poston says the Violence Against Women Act, for example, has expired, and can’t be renewed during the partial shut-down of the federal government.

On the Facebook page for the 2019 Fairbanks Women’s March, they mention how the march will accommodates people with disabilities.

“It was important to us to work with someone like Access Alaska to make sure the sidewalks were completely cleared, and there is going to be reserved seating for anyone with mobility issues…”

And they are trying to recruit a sign-language interpreter for the workshops.