Women Rally Together

Women+Rally+Together

Erika Adamson, Writer

Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump was inaugurated, millions of people around the world marched in peaceful protest.

The Women’s March on Washington, which was first planned on Facebook among a group of friends, has since gained international attention. Sister marches took place in every state and in many countries. From New York City to small town Alabama to Nairobi, marchers united to support civil rights, reproductive rights, immigration, and other issues threatened by the new president.

Photo Credits: Sofie Dennis.

“I went to the march today because I wanted to bring my daughter and show her that even though the results of the election were not what we wanted, we can use our voice for change,” said Kristin Kuckelman, who attended the Women’s March in Philadelphia. This was her young daughter’s first march, and she noticed there were other families as well.

Owen Barrett, a freshman at the College of New Jersey, went to a smaller demonstration in Trenton with his girlfriend and her family. “I went on the march today because I believe that all people in this country deserve equal privileges and opportunities. I came to protest the unjust rise of hate, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and sexism… [We] wanted to also emphasize how much of a bully [President Trump] is towards different groups of people, and why he is indeed unfit to be president.”

Photo credits: Kristin Kuckelman

Unlike the Inauguration Day protests, none of the protesters were arrested at these demonstrations. The Women’s Marches intended to send a message of love and unity instead of hate. Many claim that the marches were hardly Trump protests. They were rallies of people with like-minded ideas that the president opposed.

“From what I saw, there was absolutely no violence… The crowd was so friendly and I actually made some friends with people I met,” said Sofie Dennis, a teenager who went to the Women’s March in Philadelphia with her parents. “During some of the speeches, the crowd members linked arms with one another. Strangers from completely different backgrounds united during a song of hope and freedom and it was beautiful.”

Photo Credits: Sofie Dennis

Before January 21st, no one expected so many people to come together. But the crowds at the nation’s capital far exceeded the ones of the Inauguration. Crowd scientists say there were roughly three times more people at the Women’s March on Washington alone.

President Trump has given almost no response, despite the large number of protestors. He tweeted, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.” Two hours later, he tweeted again, “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

Many of President Trump’s supporters criticize the Women’s March because Donald Trump is already president. They also argue the movement does not support pro-life feminism, and therefore does not support all women.

Despite President Trump’s limited response and the criticism from his supporters, many agree these demonstrations have impacted the world.

“I believe this event will spread awareness to people who aren’t affected by any of these issues and show people who oppose our ideas that we will stand together. “[Millions of] people from around the world came together to support each other…” continues Dennis. “We will not stand down from our rights, we will not give up on each other, we will not go back to a time where people were treated less than human because of who they were.”

Photo Credits: Owen Barrett

Were the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches a single event, or is it a continuous movement? The question remains, but as the marchers pointed out, they aren’t going anywhere. If this many people oppose the new president, it could be an ongoing issue.

Women’s March on Washington has also started a new campaign: 10 Actions/100 Days. Every ten days, a new action will be taken for the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, according to the official website. Right now, they are urging people to write to their senators about issues they will continue to fight for.

It may take time to know if the Women’s March movement is sustainable. But no matter what happens next, it has empowered women, minorities, and their supporters to stand together and resist.

According to Barrett, “It was a proud and emotional moment for all people in the crowd. Each person, backed by emotion, let out what they feel is right for all. It was an amazing day to be an American, for peace won today.”

 

Special thanks to Sofie Dennis, Kristin Kuckelman, and Owen Barrett for contributing.