Protestors gathered in New York City outside of Trump Tower to say "no more" to sexual harassment and assault.
As snow fell, survivors and advocates braved the weather to rally behind the #MeToo campaign as speakers took turns demanding an end to our society turning a blind eye to thousands of women, men, and children being harassed and assaulted every year. Sonia Ossorio, president of founding chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) was among the speakers scheduled for the rally. "This #MeToo movement will turn into a #NotMe moment, where the world we live in is different," said Ossorio to the dozens of protestors.
The rally was organized by two women, Annmarie Haubert and Connie Vasquez, who connected online after the #MeToo movement gained momentum in October, reports Metro. "I knew that a lot of people went through it, but out of my friend group, I really was the only one, and it made me feel very alone," Haubert told Metro in an interview a few days before event. "When I saw #MeToo gaining momentum and people were so brave to speak about their experiences, it made me feel like I could open up, too."
On the Facebook event page for the rally, a list of speakers and performers was shared as well as a call to action which reads:
"A simple hashtag — #metoo — spoke for millions who were sexually abused and opened the floodgates for us to speak out, be seen, and support each other. Silenced no longer, we rise to give voice to our experience and to change the tide of how sexual abuse victims are treated in America. Let us stand and be counted together to put an end to smearing anyone who dares to speak out, an end to questioning why we wait so long after our bodies, hearts, souls, and psyches first suffered. Let us rise together and be counted."
The speakers included Jamie Wilson, executive director of The Feminist Press; Gary Greenberg, founder of Protect NY Kids; Farah Tanis, co-founder of Black Women's Blueprint, Inc.; and others for a list of 11 in all. Additionally, two musical arts were scheduled to perform, Mae Krell and the band BETTY. Many causes and groups were represented among the long list of speakers showcasing both the pervasiveness of harassment and assault and the unity, inclusivity, and momentum of the movement.
The nation’s leading victim assistance organization, Safe Horizon, was there in support tweeting out highlights of the rally along with NOW.
The organizers also created a visual representation of the campaign by encouraging attendees to write messages of support and solidarity that were then displayed on a wall in the nearby Columbus Circle subway station.
In a video posted to the event page, police officers were filmed removed all of the notes attached to the wall of the subway station shortly after the rally concluded around 3:00 p.m. EST. One commentor on the page thanked everyone who went writing, "Thank you for breaking your silence and for your courage and resilience."