Story by Floyd Alvin Galloway
It was planned as a “Women’s March On Washington,” Saturday, Jan-uary 21, for women, following the November election of Donald J. Trump as America’s 45th president.
Scheduled for the day after the inauguration, the event exploded into a historic event that became the largest protest march in American history. Satellite marches across the world far exceeded expectations, focused to combat the message of hate, misogyny and violence against women, being propagated by the newly elected braggadocios leader of the free world.
The crowd’s numbers overwhelmed and shocked even the original planners of the women’s rallying cry for unity and defiance against Trump. There were over 670 marches worldwide, 20 in Mexico, 29 in Canada, marches in London, Paris, Puerto Rico, and many other foreign countries.
Along with the huge crowds in Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, and other cities, the largest crowd was in Los Angeles were nearly 700,000 took part in the demonstration. It was so large that participants had to march down three parallel streets. They even marched in Anchorage Alaska, in the dead of winter. Nearly three million people marched worldwide.
Saturday, January 21, they took to the streets and marched in every state across the country, from small hamlets to huge metropolitan cities. Thousands, upon thousands of women, men and children, rose up against the adverse social climate that for many is an attack on the fabric of democracy and the meaning of being an American.
Valley community health advocate, R J Shannon, stated, “The coolest thing about it is the unity I’m seeing amongst the people here. It is incredibly diverse. I’m amazed. I didn’t think this many people would show up,” said Shannon. She noted she started shedding tears of joy as she saw the large crowd ready to action against Trump and his policies. “People are speaking and saying enough…they are saying human rights have to be our main vision as we talk about policy and caring for people. I hope they are paying attention,” said Shannon.
Isley Fraizer, a Flint Michigan native, who moved to Phoenix four years ago, was also impressed by the diverse crowd, says he wanted to participate to show unity. “What brought me out here today was to stop the hate. I’m down with showing no bigotry, no hate. To show we are all together, Blacks, Whites, Mexicans, Asians, lesbians, gays, we are all here together. We are all here to make a statement; we are not about what’s going on in our country right now.
Kijuana Wright of Phoenix felt it was important to bring her daughter, Debon Hohney to the march. I think we are all a little saddened by the election has brought out of people, and like many of us we are really busy, we have jobs and kids and responsibilities, but we still want to get active and make a difference and this is one small way we can do that,” expressed Wright.
Not a fan of the negative rhetoric Trump is spewing, Hohney was happy to see a lot of people were not supporting his negative message. “I think it is really cool that so many are not for Trump and stuff,” said the eighth grader who has a new life experience in being an activist.
“It was great to see people of all different gender identities supporting women’s rights. The energy was amazing, smiling faces everywhere,” said Phoenix College student Jaideen Cobb. “It was very important for me to make it to this event because the of intersectionality is a issue amongst African American women and I’d like to see the walls that separate us come down in my life time,” Cobb added who attended the event with other college friends.
In Phoenix, estimates range from 16,000 to 20,000 participated in the march and rally at the state capital. Hearing from an array of elected officials and community leaders, both female and male, urging the crowd to be active in defying the climate of hate and discrimination, and become active in changing the political landscape that pushes for sexism, racism, bigotry and discrimination. They urged the audience to stand together in unity, stand against hate and stand with love.
This was a message echoed across the country, in a non-violent show of defiance. The day before Trump was inaugurated Trump, which was witnessed by smaller crowds than Obama’s two inaugurations and the protest march. This fact through Trump and his supporters into a rage, claiming the media was trying to discredit his presidency.
Some say Trump has pushed violence on women by his verbal and physical assault on them. One incident ignited a firestorm of controversy when a tape surface of Trump making lewd remarks about a woman and the ability to grab her genitals because he is rich.
Kyle Johnson, carrying a sign, “My First Lady is Black,” noted the grace and poise former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, and how scandal free the Obama administration was for eight year. The current president has been plagued with one controversy and scandal after another. An attorney, he was at the Phoenix march, because he supports women rights and their reproductive rights. “We should not have a person in the White House that has acted like a sexual predator.”