Women, supporters march in D.C., around America day after inauguration

Emily Phonelath blows bubbles while in the crowd of the Women’s March on Washington in Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. ( Aileen Devlin /The Daily Press via AP)

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Emily Phonelath blows bubbles while in the crowd of the Women’s March on Washington in Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. ( Aileen Devlin /The Daily Press via AP)

Events were also held in Paris, London and other cities around the world

Two things became abundantly clear during a six hour span in the nation’s capital Saturday: Donald Trump begins his presidency facing a loud, raucous resistance, and that resistance is still figuring out how to tell its story.

While hundreds of thousands descended on Washington, D.C. less than 24 hours after Trump was sworn in as president, the program leading up to the march featured everything from speeches on Muslim rights, women’s rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, indigenous people, gun violence and the rights of immigrant families.

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The march was billed as the Women’s March on Washington, but the causes were myriad, albeit centered on women’s rights and human rights in general.

Even as similar marches occurred around the country and roughly 60 occurred internationally, including Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Bangkok and Delhi, the D.C. continent seemed to be the anchor, with some protestors taking a break in the very stands where viewers watched Trump’s inaugural parade on Friday.

The Washington organizers had originally expected 200,000 but, according to the Washington Post, more than 590,000 people had taken Metro by 4 p.m., a weekend ridership record. The crowds were large that the organizers announced that they had to change the route.

Though there are not official numbers, the crowd was easily the largest protest event in U.S. history following an inauguration. In 1969 and 1973 tens of thousands protested President Richard Nixon’s inauguration and the Vietnam War.

“Welcome to your first day, we will not go away,” the group chanted, stopping to boo and shout “shame” when they passed the new Trump hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Those attending were joyful, raucous and noisy.

Marian Harris, a former state representative from southwest Columbus who came up with that group, said the group rode overnight on a bus and arrived in suburban D.C. at 4 a.m. “We’ve been here since 7 o’clock,” she said.

Bonnie Goricki and Jenny Jeffries, both of Poland, Ohio, said it was the first time they’d ever participated in something like this. “

“We’re hippies, and we didn’t do Woodstock,” said Jeffries, “So we’re doing this.”

Everyone seemed to want in on the action. A program leading up to the march was supposed to end at 1:15, but by 2:20 p.m., it appeared nowhere near ending and the crowd became restless, with some becoming ill from the dense crowds and from standing. When Grammy-winning artist Alicia Keys took the stage, some in the crowd chanted “March,” rather than cheer for her. By that time, they’d been standing in place for four hours.

But when the march finally started people climbed on trucks that had been used for inaugural festivities. They climbed traffic lights. They chanted and held signs up insulting Trump.

The program sometimes felt like a directory of left-leaning groups. The National Resources Defense Council, EMILY’s List, Moms Rising and the Mothers Against the Movement – all groups that had turned out for Democrat Hillary Clinton during the election – spoke. So did a handful of Democratic female lawmakers, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Rep. Maxine Waters.

But for those who marched, the fact that so many people showed up mattered far more than the length of the program or the people on stage.

“This was a start,” said Nikkole Everhart of Columbus. “This is the beginning.”


COMPLETE COVERAGE

We had a team of reporters in D.C. for the inauguration and the women’s march. If you missed any of our coverage, go to MyDaytonDailyNews.com for videos, photos and more.

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