Women’s March on Washington

Zoe Deno
Staff Writer

DSC_8963Photo by Zoe Deno| The Hudsonian

The evening after the inauguration the streets of Washington DC were alive with the cheers of Trump supporters.

They roamed the dusk streets, traveling in small packs and waving American flags.

The morning after the election, the streets were no less electric. Beneath the grey sky, one united army of more than a million pink-clad demonstrators shut the city down. Men, women and children marched together waving signs in protest of the Trump administration in what is being called DC’s largest protest to date.

Many traveled from across the country just to attend the several hour-long walk across the city; myself included. I didn’t drive to protest out of a righteous passion; I drove the 382 miles out of an innate curiosity to see the aftermath of the inauguration.

The Women’s March on Washington came from a Facebook event that went viral after the results of the election were released. It began at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, two streets that sit in the shadow of the US Capitol.

While different sources suggest different attendee numbers ranging as high as over one million, we can say conclusively that as of 4pm the Metro announced that it’s ridership for the day had been 597,000.

During the inauguration itself, a small group of protesters threw rocks at police and set a vehicle on fire, leading to 94 arrests.

“It was a very small minority of protesters that are taking up a very large majority of media coverage,” said Laura Hoge, a women who traveled with her family from New Jersey to “voice her dissent.”

As I walked among the crowds at the Women’s March, I remember distinctly seeing a sign with the demand “Impeach Trump,” only to see a sign almost directly behind it with a disfigured representation of Trump’s VP or replacement, Mike Pence. It was then that I began to wonder exactly what the goal of the protest was, so I did the only logical thing I could do to answer my question: I asked them.

The more I spoke to people, the more I realized that there was no universal end goal to the protest beyond making sure the world was aware that they were not happy with Trump.

While many simply shrugged when asked the seemingly simple question, several individuals had interesting answers to share.

“The fact that Hillary won the popular vote gives us cause to replace Trump with her. We have to get rid of him,” said a woman who identified herself as Nicole. She seemed to think that our government is set up so that even if Congress decided there wasn’t a need for the Electoral College there is no possible way for Hillary to become president.

Lizzie Mcdonough, who traveled from Mississippi, said she wanted to put pressure on the Trump Administration to protect women’s rights and thought that this was the opportunity to do that.

Regardless of the divisions in the end goals of the march, the fact that hundreds of thousands more people attended the protest than the mere 30,000 that attended the inauguration itself gives us an insight into the mentality of our country.

I made what proved to be the foolish decision of mentioning that after weighing the odds, I had cast my ballot for Trump to a man who was talking about his disapproval of Hillary. “I didn’t like Hillary, but I bit the bullet and voted for her because I think her administration would be better for my daughters.”

This wasn’t an easy decision for anyone. Nobody was happy about what they did. I actually ended up voting for Trump. Both Democrats and Republicans hate him, I really don’t think he will accomplish much because of that.

In my defense, the man had seemed completely reasonable up to this point. I don’t recall what he yelled, I just remember being shocked as what had been an engaging conversation turned into three people screaming at me. A girl who had been standing by us actually reached out to shove me as I ducked away aided by the thick crowd that was engaged with the words of a speaker.

The Women’s March on Washington held the same “us versus them” mentality that polarizes our current political climate. Only 9 percent of the American population voted for Trump or Hillary during the primaries. I think it’s safe to say that most people were simply voting for who they perceived to be the lesser of the two evils,though even if a person worshiped the ground their political candidate we can’t allow ourselves to be divided by diversity of thought or opinion.

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