Aaliyah Cropley, 12, beats her drum and leads marchers away from the Alaska State Capitol and toward Centennial Hall at the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday Jan. 18. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Aaliyah Cropley, 12, beats her drum and leads marchers away from the Alaska State Capitol and toward Centennial Hall at the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday Jan. 18. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Why they march: Juneau women tell us in their own words

Participants share why they walked through winter bluster

Aaliyah Cropley struck her drum, and songs and footfalls soon followed.

Cropley, 12, was part of the group leading the way down Main Street Saturday at Juneau’s 2020 Women’s March, which began at the Alaska State Capitol before quickly making its way to Centennial Hall.

Her mother, Cassandra Cropley, said they were marching for all missing and murdered indigenous women and one such woman in particular.

“Our cousin is Linda Skeek,” Cassandra Cropley said.

Skeek, a Tlingit woman, has been missing since January 2016, according to the Charley Project, which profiles missing people cases, and is feared dead. In March 2019, Skeek’s husband, Thomas, was found not guilty of first- and second-degree murder. Skeek’s body has not been found.

Cropley wasn’t the only one marching to raise attention of a missing loved one, but more than 100 people walked through the wintry bluster for myriad reasons.

Marchers wear cold weather gear during the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. Saturday’s high temperature was 23 degrees with a low of 18, according to the Weather Channel. A high wind warning was in effect, according to the National Weather Service. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Marchers wear cold weather gear during the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. Saturday’s high temperature was 23 degrees with a low of 18, according to the Weather Channel. A high wind warning was in effect, according to the National Weather Service. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Some wanted to show solidarity with the thousands of women who marched across the U.S. in hundreds of similar events held nationwide. Others wanted to represent a marginalized group, make a political statement or set an example for their children.

While the reasons varied, the women and allies present each had a reason to march.

Here’s what they had to say in their own words.

Courtney Deguzman

Ikahn Deguzman, 7, Courtney Deguzman and Hollis Deguzman, 4, stand with their signs after marching from the Alaska State Capitol to Centennial Hall, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Ikahn Deguzman, 7, Courtney Deguzman and Hollis Deguzman, 4, stand with their signs after marching from the Alaska State Capitol to Centennial Hall, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Reason for marching: “It’s important for me to show my kids what’s important and to raise them to be good people. Most of my life, I do for them.”

Crystal Delgado

Crystal Delgado stands near a poster raising awareness of her missing sister, Tracy Day, after participating in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Crystal Delgado stands near a poster raising awareness of her missing sister, Tracy Day, after participating in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Reason for marching: “For my sister, Tracy Day. I want to bring awareness to it.”

Cheryl Putnam

Cheryl Putnam, who uses a wheelchair, said she participated in the 2020 Women’s March for all missing women and murdered women and to make sure women — especially disabled women — have a voice. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Cheryl Putnam, who uses a wheelchair, said she participated in the 2020 Women’s March for all missing women and murdered women and to make sure women — especially disabled women — have a voice. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Reason for marching: “For all the missing and lost people and to give women voices — especially disabled women.”

Kiara Alexander

Kiara Alexander participated in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Kiara Alexander participated in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Reason for marching: “My daughter (Zakia) is speaking at the event today, and there needs to be some reflection of brown women at the event.”

Ty Shae

Ty Shae smiles after participating in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. The march started at the capitol, but it quickly made its way to Centennial Hall. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Ty Shae smiles after participating in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. The march started at the capitol, but it quickly made its way to Centennial Hall. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Reason for marching: “I believe strongly in the feminist movement. I thought it was important to show up with a trans flag and show representation. Trans women are women. They’re being targeted, and we need to do something about that and make sure they’re not being left out of the story.”

Barbara Murray

Barbara Murray participates in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. This year is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Barbara Murray participates in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. This year is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Reason for marching: “I think sisterhood is powerful.”

Emily Mesch

Emily Mesch smiles after participating in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. The march started at the capitol, but it quickly made its way to Centennial Hall. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Emily Mesch smiles after participating in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. The march started at the capitol, but it quickly made its way to Centennial Hall. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Reason for marching: “Everybody has their own issue that’s super important to them. Events like this, when the community gets together, you get to hear things that aren’t necessarily important to you. I’m here to come to this group and hear what’s important to them.”

Kelsi Gasparek

Kelsi Gasparek was one of the many women who participated in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Kelsi Gasparek was one of the many women who participated in the 2020 Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Reason for marching: “I love the Women’s March. I love everything it stands for. To come together as a community and make our voices heard and get inspiration from women in our community.”

Cassandra Cropley

Cassandra Cropley holds a poster showing photos of her cousin, Linda Skeek, after the 2020 Women’s March, Jan. 18. Skeek went missing in January 2016 and is feared dead. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Cassandra Cropley holds a poster showing photos of her cousin, Linda Skeek, after the 2020 Women’s March, Jan. 18. Skeek went missing in January 2016 and is feared dead. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Reason for marching: “Missing and murdered indigenous women. Our cousin is Linda Skeek.”

Laura Steele

Lauren Steele said women supporting women, men supporting women and everyone supporting everyone is why she participated in the 2020 Women’s March in Juneau, Saturday Jan. 18. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Lauren Steele said women supporting women, men supporting women and everyone supporting everyone is why she participated in the 2020 Women’s March in Juneau, Saturday Jan. 18. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Reason for marching: “Intersectional feminism and women supporting women and men supporting women and everyone supporting everyone.”

Signs of the times

Marchers make their way down Main Street during the Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Marchers make their way down Main Street during the Women’s March, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Many of those at the Women’s March held quippy signs.

Here are three that stood out in the crowd:

• “Little girls with dreams become women with vision”

• “Dunleavy, Trump, Trumleavy, Drump, Trumdun, Dunrump, No matter the spelling it’s all the same [stuff]”

• “Missing but not forgotten”

• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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