International Women’s Day rally held in Downtown Miami

MIAMI (WSVN) - Several hundred women in South Florida gathered in Downtown Miami for a rally for International Women’s Day, Wednesday.

It started at around 6 p.m. “We stand with you. We hear you. We see you,” said rally organizer, Megan Shade. “People are really frustrated, people are hurting, people are really affected by what’s happening and what’s going on. A really good way to funnel that energy is to bring people out to the streets.”

On International Women’s Day both men and women protested outside a U.S. Immigration Field Office in Northwest Miami-Dade.

Women said that they are here to stand up for other women. “Immigrant women are under attack,” said protester Andrea Mercado.

Both adult women and students met up in Coconut Grove outside of Bridgeprep Academy of Arts and Minds.

Vianny Guillen, a student at the academy, walked out of class with several of her classmates to make a stand. “For years, women have been oppressed and put down and told that they can do certain things and it’s not right,” Guillen said. “It’s just not right for us women to sit down and stay quiet.”

Erin Lewis marched with her mother, Diana, and her own daughter. Lewis is an attorney, and took the day off to show how vital a woman’s presence is at work.

Diana said the march reminds her of the same battle she has been fighting ever since she was a young woman. “I was just telling my daughter that she wore an ERA button, an Equal Rights Amendment button, when we were trying to pass it a long time ago in the mid 80s.”

In Fort Lauderdale, a candlelight vigil drew a crowd of women.

In New York City, the Empire State Building was lit up in pink for International Women’s Day.

A march was also held in Washington D.C., where women clad in red made their voices heard. “We know one thing for sure, that when succeed, America succeeds,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Digital publisher, Vix, located in Coral Gables, produced a video in support of the women’s cause.

“It hurts not seeing our co-workers here, but that’s part of a protest,” said Vix employee Michael Stevens. “It’s supposed to make a statement.”

More than a dozen female employees at Vix did not show up for work Wednesday morning in support of the national movement that was created by the Women’s March on Washington organizers, called “A Day Without a Women.”

Vix’s chairman and CEO, Rafael Urbina, said he is also behind the cause because of his daughter. “I have an 11-year-old daughter, and I want to make sure that she has the same opportunities as my son,” he said. “She’s a natural-born leader, and I worry that, you know, she may not. I think a day like today is an opportunity for us to help that process along.”

Other employees dressed in red in support of their female counterparts. Part of the cause includes a no shopping day to show women’s economic strength and impact on our society.

Ikira Dilorenzo, who works at Vix, stayed home with her child. “I have a young son, and I want him to know that you have to treat women with respect, that women’s rights are human rights, and we’re all equal,” she said.

She said that she believes women’s rights are under attack and organizers of the rally in Downtown said this is the primary reason why they are protesting.

“People are really frustrated. People are hurting and people are really affected by what’s happening with what’s going on,” Shade said.

Despite the amount of women who took the day off, many still went to work to show their support through their successes and hardwork.

Miami Police and Florida Highway Patrol were on hand for the march and no incidents were reported.

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