Story and photo by Lloyd Bravo/Viking news/Staffer/@lloydbravo
Students at the LAC rallied as the Long Beach Students United, a new activist group on campus that formed this semester, protested on the matters of women’s equality on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8.
According to the United Nations’ website, the day “reflects on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
“Maria Landeros, 20, a history major, explained the coalition on campus and the purpose of the demonstration, which began at 8 a.m. on the overpass across Carson Street at the LAC with signs of equality, eventually trickling down to the large planter on the Front Quad.
“What we want to do is to create small demonstrations for different causes,” Landeros said about the overall purpose of the group. “We want to inform students attending LBCC on how they can become active in their own communities and help.”
Kimberlyn Coats, 20, a sociology major and co-founder of LBCC’s Feminist Club, participated in the protest and said, “It’s about equality and equity, which is pretty simple in those terms.”
Coats spoke about the issue pertaining to women and said, “I don’t think there is one particular issue because every women is affected by different personal issues.”
The term “intersectional feminism” is one that is being recognized more.
Ann Burdette, 67, an undeclared major, said, “We are representing women’s issues, but we are also concerned about immigration, racism, equal pay and the environment.”
Along with being a part of the Long Beach Students United, Burdette is the outreach chair for Long Beach United, a new organization to help divergent small groups get organized and heard: “The lead is the younger students on campus.”
With the age gap between Burdette and her classmates, she said, “I have not found any discrimination made because I am an older student and that’s what Community College is all about.”
The impartiality of the group welcomes all who want to attend.
Benjamin Lomeli, 22, a sociology major, said, “We made posters Friday of last week for today’s cause.” Regarding his involvement, Lomeli said, “With everything that’s going on politically and socially, we felt the need for students collectively getting together and organizing politically.” Lomeli and the rest of the group have no issues with his gender: “I think there is a misconception that men can’t be a feminist, but I am a self-proclaimed feminist.”
The issues Long Beach Students United raised during the rally include the pay gap regarding women, confronting violence against women and increasing the minimum wage.
Landeros summed up the situation by saying, “If you believe in something, stand up for it because a small amount can make a difference.”