WASHINGTON- The day after Donald Trump was sworn into office as president, thousands of women across the country came together at the nation’s capital to demonstrate against discrimination and the divisiveness that has occurred.
Members of the rally said it is not an anti-Trump protest, but a rally that aims to peacefully empower women and demand that their rights be protected and respected under Trump’s administration.
“We came to support women’s rights because we learned throughout our girl scout troops how important women’s rights are,” said Charlotte Levine, high school sophomore from the District of Columbia.
The movement inspired other states to participate in “Sister Marches” around the world. The idea has even spread to other countries including Peru, Kenya, Czech Republic and Israel. According to the Women’s March on Washington website, there are more than 600 Sister Marches with over 2 million participants globally.
“When my daughter in Connecticut told me about it, I said I want to go, so I went to New Haven and rode on a bus with her along with my other daughter and very dear second cousin,” said Vicki Abbott, New Hampshire resident. “I feel that women are not going to do well under the current administration, and I think they need to know that we are watching them and that we will remember.”
From hundreds of miles to thousands of miles, many Americans wanted to be a part of one of the largest reported marches in American history.
“I think this is a historic event, and I wanted to be some place that made me feel good instead of some place that makes me feel bad,” said Francie Kilborne, Texas resident. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. It is everything I thought it would be and more.”
The rally began at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 with speakers and performers that included actress America Ferrera, actress Scarlett Johansson, singer Janelle Monráe and Muriel Bowser, the District’s mayor.
Ferrera encouraged women and immigrants to continue to fight for their future.
“Our dignity, our character (and) our rights have all been under attack,” Ferrera said. “The President is not America. The cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America, and we are here to stay.”
Organizers of the march coordinated the rally subsequently after the Nov. 8 election results. The motive behind the idea was to create a movement against some of Trump’s policies for the country. The platform aims to enhance the political climate by ending violence against women, protecting immigration and maintaining civic rights.
Thomas Watkins, resident of New Jersey decided to participate in the march the moment he found out about the event.
“(The march) is representing a grassroots movement,” he said. “An instantaneous defiant setting where people are just tired of what has transpired. The things that Donald trump says and does, the people he associates with and the general oligarchy nature of his cabinet that he’s selected, so I think it’s a group effort to tell the country how we feel.”
California Senator Kamala Harris said this is a pivotal time for America to figure out what our character represents.
“Even if you are not sitting in the White House, even if you are not a member of the United States Congress, even if you don’t run a big corporate super pack, you have the power, and we the people have the power,” she said. “There is nothing more powerful than a group of determined sisters marching alongside with their partners and their determined sons and brothers and fathers, standing up for what we know is right, and we know that it is right for this nation to prioritize woman’s issues.”