By Rachel Fergus.
On January 20th, 2017, Donald John Trump became the 45th president of the United States of America. Thousands arrived on the Washington Mall to witness the ceremony. According to Washington D.C.’s Metro system, there were 193,000 bus rides to the inauguration ceremony and many more people lined the parade route from the Capitol Building to the White House.
While thousands of people cheered, took selfies, and cried with happiness on the Washington Mall this past Friday, thousands of U.S. citizens took to the streets and protested against President Trump. In Washington D.C., protesters destroyed storefronts and burned cars. This protest led to 217 arrests in D.C. and the injury of six police officers. While this was happening, peaceful protests were held across the nation. In San Francisco, protesters stood hand-in-hand, stretching from one end of the Golden Gate Bridge to the other. The goal of this event was to tell the world that “Love is our resistance,” a phrase found on numerous signs held by protesters on the bridge. Other events took place in Kansas City, Kansas, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis and numerous other cities.
In Minneapolis, 2,000 men, women, and children from numerous organizations and people groups marched to the City Hall. Among the protesters were Black Lives Matter, Veterans for Peace, Native Lives Matter Black Snake Resistance, and many other groups and individuals. A woman that participated in the three-hour event said, “I thought about taking pictures of the march, but I felt too sacred to try and capture with a camera”.
The inauguration festivities ended late on January 20th but the protesters were just getting started. On Saturday, January 21st, the Women’s March began. Originally the march was a Facebook event created by Teresa Shook, a retired woman living in Hawaii. The day Shook created the event, 10,000 women latched onto her idea and committed to protesting in Washington. As the days went on, tens of thousands committed to protesting in Washington. Those that could not make the trek to the capitol began planning sister marches in cities across the United Stated. The protests did not stop at the national level. According to the Women’s March on Washington’s website, 673 rallies were planned across the globe and an estimated 2,587,190 people had committed to attending a protest. March locations included: Tokyo (Japan), Jos (Nigeria), Bali (Indonesia), Chiclayo (Peru), Bucharest (Romania), and Kigali (Rwanda).
The founders of the Women’s March on Washington took one more step to ensure their voices were heard everywhere: the event was live-streamed by numerous organizations and news sources. Streaming the event allowed anyone with a computer to participate in the speeches and rallies.
The dozens of speakers in D.C moved the crowd to deafening cheers. A Muslim American women declared, “There is nothing radical about Islam unless peace is radical. There is nothing radical about Islam unless justice is radical”. Other statements that induced ruckus cheers were: “It was woman that gave you Martin Luther King Junior. It was woman that gave you Malcolm X. And according to the Bible, it was a woman that gave you Jesus” and “We will not allow our bodies to be owned and controlled by men in government or men anywhere for that matter…”
Towards the end of the rally Alicia Keys took the stage to encourage the marchers in Washington D.C. As thousands began to walk towards the Capitol, they had her words ringing in their ears:
“We want the best for all Americans… no hate, no bigotry, no Muslim registry. We value education, healthcare and quality. We will continue to rise until all our voices are heard until our planet’s safety is not deferred, until our bombs stop dropping in other lands. Until our dollar is the same dollar as the man’s, and we continue to recognize that yes we can.”
Featured image: This image was originally posted to Flickr by Ted Eytan. The image has been licensed for fair use by the creator under the Creative Commons license – Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0). No changes have been made.
Image: This image was originally posted to Wikimedia Commons by Samwalton9. The image has been licensed for fair use by the creator under the Creative Commons license – Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0). No changes have been made.