‘We are America’: Millions Gather to March All Across the U.S.

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More than 500,000 gather for the Women’s March on Washington. Chang Lee/ The NY Times

By Mia Speier ’18

“Trump is not America. We are America,” said actress America Ferrera at the Women’s March in Washington D.C..

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children united in our nation’s capital to march in what the New York Times called a “counterinaguration” one day after President Donald Trump took the oath.

The march, that gathered masses larger than the inauguration itself, started as a Facebook invite from Hawaii resident Theresa Shook to 40 of her close friends. Frustrated with the results of the election in early November, Shook felt the need to take action. However, over night, her invite had over 10,000 people who were interested in coming and 10,000 attending. While Shook never foresaw this happening, during her three-minute speech at the march she indicated that she was ecstatic with the passion and enthusiasm she got in response.

Maia Tivony ’18

The rally lasted about 3 hours from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. with inspiring speeches, performances and appearances from actresses America Ferrera and Scarlett Johansson, singers Alicia Keys and Madonna, feminist activist Gloria Steinem, filmmaker Michael Moore, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, along with many others. After the rally, crowds marched throughout the city and ended at the end of Pennsylvania Ave., where many marchers, to make a statement, laid their signs, banners, and posters at the foot of the White House.

While more than 500,000 people gathered in D.C., there were more than 600 marches that occurred in cities all around the U.S., such as Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Phoenix, Denver, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and even across the world in places like London, Sydney, and I kid you not, on an expedition ship in Antarctica.

“Overall, the experience of marching was super empowering. I felt that it was a safe and loving environment. I am scared, however, that this enthusiasm and passion will likely die out, but seeing the number of people who showed, I might be wrong. Hopefully people will unite like this in the future, for whatever reason it may be.”
– Chloe Honkoski ’18

Many Immaculate Heart students attended the march in Los Angeles where a sea of pink gathered at Pershing Square at around 8 a.m.. The organizers of the march put the attendance number at about 750,000, one of the largest gatherings since the 2006 Immigration March. The crowds then marched to City Hall where speeches by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin, and former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa were heard. Joining the crowds were female celebrities Demi Lovato, Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Natalie Portman, Kerry Washington, Laverne Cox and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Junior Katie Diekmann says, “I went with my mom, dad, and my little  brother and even saw some familiar faces.”

When asked why they marched, IH students said that they marched for all of the following reasons and more:

  • for wage equality,
  • for full reproductive rights,
  • for LGBTQ+ rights,
  • for Latinx, Black, and Muslim rights,
  • against hate, bigotry, racism, ableism, and sexism
  • and mostly, against an Administration and Cabinet that fails to represent the people.

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