Women’s March participant uses event as platform for Puerto Rico

By Yvaine Ye
Medill Reports

Among 300 thousand others who gathered in downtown Chicago for Women’s March two weeks ago, there was Liseth Carpenter, holding a sign with both Puerto Rican and American flags attached. Aside from the universal theme of equal rights for women, Carpenter was also protesting over the unequal treatment she says Puerto Rico received after the hurricanes.

Two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria, swiped Puerto Rico consecutively within two months last year. The storms destroyed the island’s houses, infrastructure and safe water access. Critics say the government’s response has been slow and insufficient; nearly half million residents still have no access to power after four months.

Carpenter said she hoped to give a voice to the suffering and remind others that the island, although small, is also a part of the country.

Photo at top: Thousands of participants attended Women’s March Chicago, and some used the protest to promote other causes. (Yvaine Ye/MEDILL)