Clinton Township — Fifteen-year-old Sophia Francis of Clinton Township was part of a group of 60 people, mostly women and girls, who gathered outside The Mall at Partridge Creek on Saturday to protest a number of issues they say negatively impact women.
“I’m here for my future,” Francis said. “I want equal pay, and the same opportunities as everyone else.”
Women and girls carried signs with a variety of messages including, “Vote him out” — meaning President Donald Trump — “What happened to sisterhood?”, “We can’t all succeed when half of us are held back,” and “vote and tell them Ruth sent you,” a reference to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18.
Angela Somerville, Sophia’s mother, said: “I’m very proud of her, and I hope I’m guiding her in the right direction. I’m here for equality, to protest (Barrett’s nomination) — there are too many problems to fit on one sign.”
Saturday’s event comes 18 days before the Nov. 3 election. Attendees expressed hope that former vice-president Joe Biden will defeat Trump, whom many said is hostile to women.
The Clinton Township protest coincides with a series of women’s marches across the country Saturday, including Women’s March 2020 in Washington, D.C. In Michigan, marches were scheduled in Grand Rapids, Sault Ste. Marie, Plymouth, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Traverse City.
But the organizer of the Clinton Township event said it was not affiliated with any group.
“This was organized independently; we’re not part of any group,” said Andrea Geralds, who said her chief concern was the impending nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court — an apprehension echoed by several other protesters.
“You can’t fill that seat while there’s an election going on,” Geralds said. “The Republicans are breaking the rules, working without a quorum. We’re standing out here to tell the GOP: not only are you wasting your time, you can put all the conservatives on the Supreme Court you want, and you’re still going to have to deal with women.”
Geralds said she chose the Hall Road location “because northern Macomb County has traditionally been Republican. Even in a GOP stronghold, though, women don’t like being exploited because of their gender.”
Carole Chi of Sterling Heights said she wants to see Joe Biden defeat President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election.
“We need somebody honorable and honest in the White House — not someone who’ll try to enrich themselves and their family like Trump does,” Chi said.
Chi added she’s also concerned about Coney Barrett being confirmed to the Supreme Court.
“She wants to take us back to the 1850s,” said Chi, who said she’s running for a Macomb County Commission seat in District 4. “Well, women are not going back to the Middle Ages.”