Controversy over the direction of Chattanooga Women’s Rally
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Some people are concerned about changes that are happening at this year Chattanooga Women’s Rally.
Unlike last year, Saturday’s Chattanooga women’s rally will take place at Miller Park and not include a march.
New organizers are taking over the event.
“We decided this year to have a rally and after the speakers we decided to have 100 nonprofits that serve women and children in Hamilton County. We decided to being those to the rally where there are activists. So that they can connect on a local level and people could make a difference in their own backyard,” said Krissa Barclay, one of the organizers.
Reverend Alaina Cobb, with Mercy Junction, helped with last year’s rally. She was arrested during the march portion of it. She is upset that some lawmakers, like Representative Robin Smith (R), are slated to speak this year.
“To see it change, completely turned on it’s head to be something that centers the voices of powerful, that centers the voices of women who are willing to and want to strip the rights of marginalized women is horrifying,” Cobb said.
Organizers say that is not their intention.
“We thought we were making the tent bigger and enlarging it especially in this historic year in which we are honoring and celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. I am sad that they don’t feel that we are doing that, but we have had numerous people tell us that they couldn’t participate before and they are able to participate this year,” Barclay said.
Those against the rally want to see change in the future.
“I hope that there are women out there who see this and use this to raise their voice more in the public square,” Cobb said.
This year’s organizers say they stand behind the event and they also welcome those who wish to protest it.
It will be on Saturday, January 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Miller Park.