The day after the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, millions across the United States and the world marched in protest of the historically unpopular new President. With its heartbeat in Washington D.C., the Women’s March brought out men and women of all ages, races, and faiths in a unified stand against President Trump.
The mass protest took place on the heels of Trump’s inauguration. Starting first as a social media campaign by women frustrated by the result of the November 8th
election, organizers planned the march in our nation’s capital to send a message to the President on his first day in office.
The protest was a reminder that though the President won a 304-227 Electoral College majority, he was not the popular choice of the American people, losing the popular vote by nearly three million votes.
Before the march began, protesters gathered as part of a rally headlined by celebrities to energize the crowd. Speakers at the rally included women’s rights champion Gloria Steinem, actresses Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, and America Ferrera, singer-actress Janelle Monae, and filmmaker Michael Moore.
Speakers and protesters rallied behind the issues of police brutality and racial profiling, religious tolerance, reproductive rights, domestic and sexual violence, and immigration policy. President of the Junior Class, Varun Kadikar ’18 says the most memorable chant was “You’re orange! You’re gross! You lost the popular vote!”
The march’s proximity to the inauguration drew speculation of which event would attract more people to Washington. Weak turnout at Mr. Trump’s inauguration compared to President Obama’s 2009 inauguration gave protesters the hope they could outnumber attendees at Mr. Trump’s swearing-in. General estimates by crowd-scientists place Women’s March figures (over 500,000) at three times the size of Mr. Trump’s inauguration crowd.
The crowd size issue drew extra controversy due to comments coming from the White House. Though the President did not directly acknowledge the march, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer emerged into Press Briefing Room for the first time to scold the press for allegedly reporting false figures about Mr. Trump’s inauguration crowd size.
Mr. Spicer claimed that specific crowd estimates were impossible. He then contradicted himself by giving specific crowd estimates to try and prove his argument that the audience at Mr. Trump’s inauguration was the largest ever. Mr. Spicer, in making this comment, lied in his first appearance in front of the press corps.
In addition to the massive crowds in Washington, protesters in the nation’s capital were joined by millions in sister marches around the country and the world. Vox estimates 3.3 million people marched in the United States. Outside of the United States, marchers protested the new President on all seven continents; protesters even marched in Antarctica.
Though by evening hundreds of thousands of marchers had cleared out of the District of Columbia, the Women’s March on Washington was a poignant reminder that opposition to President Trump is stronger than his support and that the opposition will be vocal for the next four years.