Millions come together in the largest protest in American history just one day after President Trump takes office
It’s no question that our nation has shown major division recently in politics and public opinion. This division has caused tension and anger. Though anger often tends to be viewed negatively, it can also serve a positive purpose.
When I attended the Women’s March, held January 21, I witnessed a crowd not angry in a harmful manner, but frustrated and inspired to make positive change.
For decades, women have fought tirelessly to gain equal rights. With those rights now under threat, this anger seemed to spark motivation and the strength to have their voices heard. It wasn’t just women who spoke out during the march. It was anyone who had ever been made to feel like the minority and experienced treatment of inequality.
What was estimated to be only 20,000 people gathering in St. Paul for the Women’s March turned into a massive 100,000 people coming out to support the cause in marching for a better tomorrow. Just one day after President Trump took office, those who were impacted by his rhetoric now began to feel as though their rights were under threat as his new policies were put into place. It was a day of people coming together to show solidarity and refusing to take a step backwards and lose all the progress we have made throughout history when it comes to equal rights. This march was not only held here in Minnesota, but all 50 states participated and also 60 countries around the world. A total of 2.9 million people marched here in the United States, making it the largest protest ever held in American history and I couldn’t be more proud to say that I got to be a part of this inspiring day.
A main question throughout the day was, “Why do you march?” I marched with my mother, a single woman who for the past nineteen years raised me all by herself and has bent over backwards in the process. She has always been a true example of “girl power” in my eyes. I marched for her, for myself as a female, for my future daughters, sisters and women of the future. But I also marched for my LGBTQ friends, my friends of color, friends of different religions than my own, and for women in other countries that would be violently punished for speaking up the way we were able to. Throughout the day I got to hear many people talk about why they marched and it was truly inspirational to hear their stories. I also got to listen to some of inspirational speakers from the day like, US Representative Betty McCollum, newly elected representative Ilhan Omar and Mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges.
Another recurring theme of the day was pussy cats. Marchers wore “pussy” hats, held stuffed “pussies”, and carried signs referencing them. This was largely inspired by a quote from our new president in reference to women, “grab them by the pussy.” With every protest also comes a lot of signage. I found some of the signs to be very clever and humorous, others gave some very strong messages and statistics.
Overall this wasn’t just a day of protest, but a day of togetherness. Women, men, children, of all different ages, backgrounds, political parties, races, religions, sexual orientation, class, and ethnicities, all coming together to demonstrate what democracy really is in one of its truest forms. To stand up for what seems to be the never ending fight for equality and human rights. There has already been discussion about continuing the fight towards this goal, and a second march is allegedly in the works for sometime this spring. For now only time will tell where this movement will take us, in the hope that love will one day trump hate.