Last Saturday, over 500,000 people gathered in the nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington. This march was a women’s rights movement, a human rights movement, an environmental movement, and a resisting protest against Donald Trump and his new administration. The turnout of the march was much larger than the expected 200,000. The number of people who attended the march was three times greater than the number of people who attended the inauguration of President Trump the day before. There were sister marches in all 50 states throughout the rest of the country and around the world across the seven continents. The nearly five million total participants are said to have made the Women’s March one of the largest protests in history.
As people arrived in D.C. dressed in pink, wearing pink pussy hats, and holding signs, they either took the metro or an hour-long walk to Independence Avenue. Once there, people crowded in masses, waiting for the march to begin. People covered the sidewalks, roads, some buildings, and even trees. While people waited, guest speakers and performers took the stage. Speakers stressed the importance of protecting human rights and resisting the Trump administration in order to help the nation move forward and not backwards. They urged people to keep fighting, to contact their representatives, to join activist groups, to support Planned Parenthood, and to stay hopeful.
The hundreds of thousands of women and men who had arrived early in the morning had to wait until around 4 pm to begin marching. It was around the time Madonna took the stage that marchers began to move towards the White House. While marching, several people chanted and raised their posters high. Some of the chants included: “What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like,” and, “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Donald Trump go away.” Written on the posters were phrases like, “Cheeto Voldemort is not my president,” “Keep your tiny hands off my uterus,” “Yikes,” and, “Melania, blink twice if you need help.” Many people left their signs outside the White House, but later that night, workers blocked off the White House and took the posters down.
People called the Women’s March Trump’s inauguration present. One of the marchers described the march as “the best experience of her life,” and another marcher said that the love felt in the environment was comparable only to the love she felt at a Bernie Sanders rally. During the march, strangers bonded and became friends—even sisters. For those who participated, the march was a once in a lifetime experience never to be forgotten. The marchers did not only make a point, they made history.
If you want to get involved, visit https://poly.rpi.edu/s/wi3py.