By Nicole Belair, Staff Writer
Nearly three million people made history as they filled streets across the globe on January 21 to stand up for causes such as women’s rights, affordable healthcare, and equality.
In a movement called the “Women’s March,” intentionally planned for the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, demonstrators of all ages and backgrounds marched in protest of Trump, his aggressive comments, and his policy positions.
His campaign rhetoric, combined with his stance on immigrants, Muslims, reproductive rights, and climate change fueled thousands of crowds to demand change; to demand change from the new president.
The initial protest was planned for Washington DC, but the idea quickly spread over social media and inspired others to take action.
The movement took place in various cities around the world including Boston, Los Angeles, London, New York City, Seattle, Paris, Dublin, and over six hundred others.
Students, children, and celebrities could all be found in the midst of the packed streets.
Madonna, Scarlett Johansson, Chrissy Teigen, and Mark Ruffalo were just a few of the dozens of celebrities who participated across the country.
Nearly everyone carried a sign that displayed cartoons of Trump, creative anti-Trump statements, and angry plays on words.
Chants erupted at the rallies, ranging anywhere from silly to serious.
“We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter,” “Black lives matter,” and “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA,” were just a few that echoed down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Megan McCauley, a junior at Saint Michael’s College, was one of half a million protesters in Washington DC.
“The vibe was absolutely infectious,” she stated. “There was such a light and positive energy in comparison to the gloomy day before.” Megan attended both the inauguration and the Women’s March with a group of students from her Saint Michael’s study abroad program.
She noted that the inauguration “felt very surreal, like some dystopian movie, with a lot of rain and gloom and Trump’s voice blaring over loud speakers.” She witnessed some protests that day, during which police had to intervene with pepper spray, tear gas, and concussion grenades.
However, one important characteristic of the Women’s March was that it was entirely peaceful, with zero arrests reported in Washington despite its massive size. Megan explained that, on Saturday, there was never a moment without cheering, chanting, and holding their signs proudly in the air.
“Something that impressed me was just how supportive and caring the crowd was,” Megan explained. “The whole day was just filled with such support and community and I’ll never forget how it felt to be there, feeling connected to everyone around me, joining in chants and cheers.”
Despite being hungry and tired by the end of the long day, Megan’s heart was so full, and she has no regrets about getting to be a part of that moment in history. “It was an incredible feeling knowing that there were even more people marching around the country and around the world.”
“As for why I marched,” she continued, “I marched because I am a woman and women are not equal to men in this country. I marched because our new president has not shown any indication that he has any respect for women or women’s rights. And I marched for those that are less privileged than I am, so that their voices may, too, be heard.