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Women's Assembly Occupies Rep. Reed's Office

Kelly Walker
Finger Lakes Public Radio

Demonstrators returned to Congressman Tom Reed’s downtown Geneva office Wednesday. The gathering was a part of observations of International Women’s Day. Local organizers called their event the March 8th Women’s Assembly. Similar gatherings around the country were described as a Women’s Strike. Hannah Dickinson says organizers raised funds to support people who might have to take time off without pay to attend.

"We've had a couple of people reach out. I wish more would. I think one of the things we really have to think about is how stigmatized asking for wages can be.”

Dickinson says this will not be the only meeting of the Geneva’s Women’s Assembly.

“We consider this our first meeting. We'll met again at the public library at 6:00 p.m. on March 30th for our second gathering. We'll have a conversation then about how we want to move forward together.”

Some in the crowd had marched to the location from the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus and by one o’clock several hundred people had gathered on the sidewalk. Around two o’clock, protesters had occupied Reed’s office where a number of individuals spoke including Banan Otaibi.

“So, while we all fight so hard for equal pay and representation in the workforce in the United States, I want us to take a moment to think about women around the globe who have been forced out of the workplace. The women who can no longer go to work because their workplaces have been bombed, because their hospitals have been destroyed, because it's not safe for them to go out into the streets.”

Outside, protesters continued to wave and shout to passing cars on Exchange Street.

Kelly Walker started his public radio career at WBAA in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1985 and has spent some time in just about every role public broadcasting has to offer. He has spent substantive time in programming and development at KWMU in St. Louis, WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana, and Troy Public Radio in Alabama before his arrival in Geneva, New York. In addition, his work has been heard on many other public radio stations as well as NPR. Kelly also produces The Sundilla Radio Hour, which airs Sundays at 1 p.m. on Finger Lakes Public Radio and is distributed to public radio stations all over the country through PRX.
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