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Women’s March

Emily Kromer, Staff

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January 21st, less than a day after America appointed Donald Trump and Mike Pence into office, millions took to the streets to voice their resistance against this action. In record numbers, women and men gathered worldwide to support the movement of expressing their opinions of the recent election.

The largest Women’s March took place in Washington, D.C. “It was an upbeat and really congenial mass of people,” marcher Maura George says. Maura and her niece, Aileen Cotter, made the journey to D.C the day before the march. Among them, “There was everyone you could think of…they were black, white, Asian, gay, straight” all side by side with one goal: make their voice be heard.

Varying from cardboard signs to messages on feminine pads, women found different ways to support their cause. “There was all sorts of things [that] were mostly poking fun at Trump,” Maura explained. “It was absolutely incredible.” People dressed in hats that symbolized the marchers disapproval of Trump’s misogynistic and derogatory comments made to women in the past.  There was no shortage of media coverage and this fueled the power of the march. Pictures and videos of the march spread like wildfire over social media sources, such as Twitter and Facebook. As the day continued, more and more people were following and aiming their attention towards the thousands of Women’s Marches.

Despite the common outrage at the outcome of the election, “It was very peaceful” Aileen, 16, said. She recalls when she bumped into someone and the response was, “I am so sorry” rather than a rude remark. “There were some anti- abortion people, but they stood behind a fence and it didn’t really bother anyone.” This showed the mutual respect each group had for one another even in the face of their differences. Even though the march route was crowded and packed with people, everyone remained civil towards each other. Maura and Aileen were accompanied by Maura’s cousin who lives in D.C. Unfortunately, her cousin injured her ankle prior the march, but this didn’t stop her will to share her thoughts on women’s rights. Maura explained how, “All you had to do was cry out ‘wheelchair!’ and people would part, like nobody grumbled.” That was one of the many scenarios where people went out of their way to make everyone make feel comfortable.

One of the most uplifting and inspiring parts of the march was hearing celebrity advocates such as Scarlett Johansson, Madonna, America Ferrera, and Julia Roberts speak about the issues tied into the new presidency. America Ferrera, the first speaker, sits on a chair for the Artist’s Committee and Aileen believed “Her speech was very powerful.” Ferrera rallied the thousands of listeners and sent a very powerful message, “We are not going anywhere!” Her speech stressed the importance of women’s healthcare and rights, all which are proposed to be limited with Trump’s future plans. Ferrera then went on to say, “This President is not America…” which reassured listeners that America will remain strong no matter what Mr. Trump proposes.

Other actresses, such as Scarlett Johansson, shared their personal connections to organizations like Planned Parenthood. Johansson explained how at 15, “Planned Parenthood provided a safe place where I could be treated with gentle guidance.” Recently, congress passed a plan that deprives this program of federal funding because Planned Parenthood is in support of conducting abortions. However, Maura added that, “They just don’t only perform abortions, they perform routine health screening for men and women” which is a common misconception. Maura also explained how,  “Planned Parenthood is the place to go if you just want to get birth control, STD testing, and it was there for me when I was 17 years old when I didn’t have real job and health insurance.” Planned Parenthood was by far the largest group represented at the march and Aileen explained that, “I was really glad Planned Parenthood was there because that organization was a major target in that election and they are trying to take it down.”

The Women’s March on DC was just the beginning, the organization plans to continue holding marches all over the country in the future. This march was just a small step with a huge effect and will continue to motivate advocates all over the country to speak up against Donald Trump and his plans. January 21st was a day for the books and will go down in history. As for Mr. Trump, “We are not going away.”

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Women’s March