One million descend on Washington, D.C., for Women’s March

Protesters hold up signs at the Women's March in Washington D.C. Photo by Laura Cowden.

A swarm of men and women from all backgrounds, ages and creeds descended upon Washington, D.C., yesterday for the Women’s March to show their support for civil rights that many fear will be threatened by Donald J. Trump’s presidency.

Andrea Gentile of Los Angeles shows the sign she made for the Women’s March. Photo by Helen Lyons.

“I’m here for my family,” said Andrea Gentile, who flew in from Los Angeles, CA in order to attend the march, “and for all the people who don’t understand me. I’m here to support them anyway.”

Her denim jacket was decorated with pins that declared “This is what a dyke looks like” and “This is what a feminist looks like,” and a sign that she wore bore the names of several cities that her family members called home, including D.C.

The Women’s March drew a crowd estimated to be over one-million strong, according to mainstream news sources like the Washington Post and New York Times.

The number of attendees was so great, in fact, that plans for an organized march along a designated route were quickly abandoned as the massive crowd spilled into open streets, blocking traffic and effectively shutting down the city.

Members of Bikers for Trump pass the time as they wait for the Women’s March to begin. Photo by Laura Cowden.

“I’m here for my students,” said Andrea Gamache, a public school teacher who came all the way to the capital from Chicago, Illinois. “At any given time, 20 to 30 percent of my students are undocumented. When they heard [President] Trump was elected, they were frightened.”

But protesters of the President weren’t the only ones to come out to march in support of women’s rights- several people in “Make America Great Again” hats were also present, along with Bikers for Trump, either to peacefully observe the march or participate.

“I’m a strong supporter of women’s rights,” said Kenny Wilkins of Virginia, who voted for Trump last November. “I support equal rights and equal pay, and I’m here to show that. Trump is a businessman, I think he will fix [the gender wage gap].”

Young Trump supporters watch the Women’s March with interest. Photo by Helen Lyons.

Some Trump voters felt that while many issues that were discussed during the 2016 presidential campaign contributed to divisiveness in the country, women’s rights were not one of them. Others were as-of-yet unconvinced of the validity of the march’s premise, but keeping an open mind.

“A lot of people yelled at us and told us to go home,” said one freckled young boy wearing a Trump flag as a cape, quietly watching the march from a 17th St. sidewalk. “But I want to be here. I want to see what’s happening.”

For more coverage of the Women’s March, visit Takoma Voice on Twitter and Instagram.