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Hundreds rally at Downtown Crossing on International Women's Day

Many women wearing red showed up to stand up women's equality, especially in the workplace.
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    Elana Cotto, 39, who went on strike today for her coworkers at a hospital who couldn'|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Boston Councillor At-Large Annissa Essaibi George speaks to the gatheri ng about Int|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Many people from various walks of life came together to show support for t he struggl|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    There were many homemade signs depicting Trump as not supportive of women's struggle|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Shamaiah Turner, 31, a sheet metal worker of Dorchester came to support International|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Quinn Fergusen, 36, of Boston came with the New England Carpenters Union to promote|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Women from Dorchester and Brookline came with their messages supporting Internationa|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Many people from various walks of life came together to show support for t he struggl|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Zack of GravityWaves was a Bostonian jogging on by on his stilts when he came upon |Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Joy Chesna of Jamaica Plain came to show her support. |Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Dennis Rodney Jackson, a self-styled Rand Paul libertarian, tried to tell people gat|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Caroline Sunshinet of Brookline with a pointed message to Donald Trump.

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    Jasmin Torrejon Chu wanted to bring her daughter Alma from Roslindale to help prepar|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    Lisa Yang of Somerville with a sign she made.|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

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    A group of people looking at flyers telling of a screening of a film about sexual ass|Derek Kouyoumjian / Metro

Several hundred people, most of them wearing red,gathered at Downtown Crossing Wednesday afternoon for a rally to supportInternational Women's Day and its sister event, ADay Without a Woman.

The rally was sponsored by a host of organizations, including the Chinese Progressive Association, Community Labor United, New England United for Justice, and Matahari Women Workers' Center.

"We're fighting for equality, we're fighting for justice and we're fighting just to be recognized and have our voices heard," one speaker told the crowd.

"I am a woman, I am black, I am an immigrant, and I am unapologetic," another said, drawing loud cheers.

A Day Without a Woman strike urged women to take off from bothpaid and unpaid labor. If they couldn't, they were encouraged not to shop at stores except those run by women or minorities.

Elana Cotto, 39, works in a hospital and said that many women there wanted to strike but couldn't because they were afraid of how it would affect their patients.

"I have a non-clinical job and I felt it was important to go out for those who can't," she said. "The fact that we still have to fight this fight is appalling. The fact that we've gone spectacularly backwards in a matter of two months is nauseating."

Cotto cited President Donald Trump, saying his his actions inspired her to attend the event. She wasn't the only one. One group of women held up a sign that said, "Bitches Against Trump."

Other signs included, "Nevertheless, she persists," and, "Women hold up half the sky." When the crowd began to chant, "Stand up, fight back," rally organizers led rounds of the phrase in English, Spanish and Chinese.

A woman from SEIU 1199, a health care workers union, briefly took the microphone and shared what the day was about for her, as an immigrant from Haiti who had to work two jobs to make ends meet.

"We are here to ask for equal pay and equal rights," she said. "We are women and we work hard. We deserve to get paid like men get paid."

Derek Kouyoumjiancontributed to this report.

 

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