Protesting, or marching for a cause, is something that isn’t unusual in Washington, DC, but for some locals, more arriving than expected is something else, and that’s exactly what happened. While President Trump, the Administration and his supporters are concerned about accurate numbers, it was apparent to organizers there were more people to come to the Women’s March on Washington than they anticipated.
It’s estimated more than 1.7 million people from around the world participated in the global phenome, with marches in DC, Philadelphia, New York City, Little Rock, Chicago and Los Angeles to Sydney, Mexico City, Paris, Berlin, London, Prague and even Antarctica; along with 679 other scheduled events around the world. Some locations were massive, while other may have only had seven people or less, but all were showing their support and endorsement. DC city officials estimate over 500,000 people were present, making it easily one of the biggest demonstrations in the city’s history. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) reported by 11 a.m. in Washington DC ridership was 275,000, 82,000 more than the inauguration around that time the day before. By the end of the day WMATA reported ridership at 1,001,616.
Women, men, and children filled parts of the National Mall, streets along the Mall, and several other streets across downtown DC. Pink ‘pussycats’ and protest signed were all that could be seen was waves of people crowded the District of Columbia in hopes of letting the president and Congress know Trump has no mandate. The original march route (which was to walk along the National Mall to the Ellipse near the White House) was impossible to use, due to the large turnout, so organizers told attendees make their own way to the Ellipse, so protester and marchers alike walked up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House, passing Trump Hotel and the Freedom Plaza, and it was there that the chaotic scene of car traffic began. Everything in the downtown area above and around the White House was stopped.
The District’s march was a star-studded affair. US Members of Congress Kirsten Gillibrand, Claire McCaskill, Tammy Duckworth, Maxine Waters, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Cory Booker, and the formidable Kamala Harris, were also on stage. Actress America Ferrera was present and spoke by saying, “We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new president is waging a war. Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack, and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday. But the president is not America. … We are America, and we are here to stay.” Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, Madonna, Michael Moore, Julianne Moore, and others were on hand; as were women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, the presidents of SEIU, AFT, and NARAL.
Marvin Dyson, a DC resident said, “I don’t care about Donald Trump, but if he did anything he brought us together because I’ve seen Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Gays, Transgender, Heteros, Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Latinas, and practically everything in between and not in between come out to give the middle finger to Trump and his ideas.”
“To show how ridiculous Donald Trump is,” Tabatha Cromwell, a Baltimore resident who marched in DC said in an email, “he and his cronies are telling lies about the numbers we had, versus the numbers he had at his pathetic inauguration, instead of being Presidential and focusing on real issues dealing with America.”
One marcher felt different. Mike Thompson, who traveled to DC from West Virginia with his family voted for Trump. “I voted for Trump and probably would again,” he said. “I’m out marching for women who hasn’t been allowed to have the success I have.”
Some people in the march chanted, “Welcome to your first day, we will not go away!” Another marcher remarked to me that he was excited about the mid-term elections by saying, “In the words of the great Barack Obama, ‘Don’t boo. Vote!’ So, that’s what I’m gonna do.”
While there were up to 200 arrests made from the violence that took place in DC on Trump’s inauguration, not a single arrest was reported, which leads me to say it’s true, “Women do it better.”