Weekend of Intense Protest in D.C.

One of the largest protests in American history occurred just one day following President Trump’s inauguration. Activists gathered across the nation in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, and Ann Arbor to protest  Donald Trump’s purported political positions.  These, among others, include cutting public funding for organizations that perform abortions like Planned Parenthood, penalizing sanctuary cities for violating immigration law, LGBTQ+ rights, “white supremacy”, “human rights”, Black Lives Matter, preserving the environment, and many others. Recent estimates claim that around 470,000 people participated in the Women’s March in Washington alone, alongside millions more nationwide.

Citizens from all across the country attended the march in D.C. I spoke first with Kevin, 36, a proud democratic socialist from Philadelphia. Speaking to the cause of the march, he stated “I believe people who brag about sexually assaulting women should not be anywhere near the White House—and sadly these days, that is a radical position.”  

Mariga, 54, from New York City, said “I am here supporting the rights of all women. When you go against one woman, you go against all of us.” When asked if this included conservative women, she said “I have no problem with that. She has just as much of a right as I do to be here, and we must support all women.” On Trump, she said “I hope he does the right thing for America—not for that one percent he is trying to put in power. I want to see all women and men succeed in life.”

I later spoke to Jay, 38, from Columbus, Ohio, who said he was motivated to drive to D.C. because “I wholeheartedly disagree with Trump’s views on women, women’s rights, immigrants, and LGBT—I am a gay man, married, and I do not want my marriage invalidated.” When asked about Trump holding a rainbow flag with the words “LGBT for Trump” on it, Jay said he doesn’t buy it, commenting “That was a farce and done for show after he was made out to not be gay-friendly.” When asked about Vice President Mike Pence, he said “I think he is worse than Trump, truthfully. I mean, he supports conversion therapy which electrocutes teens, children, until they say that they are straight to make it stop or give up and kill themselves.” In regard to the March, he said “This is an amazing event. It is incredible the number of people who have shown up for this—it gives me hope. This gives me hope!”

Various celebrities attended the event, including Scarlett Johansson, America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Vanessa Hudgens, CNN Correspondent Van Jones, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and University of Michigan alum Madonna, who plans onblowing up the White House”. President Trump responded to the enormous event with this tweet, which drew many responses from people on the left.  He also acknowledged the protests as a “hallmark of our democracy”, respecting the rights of those opposed to his platform to express their views.  Next weekend, the March for Life will take place in Washington D.C. advocating specifically for the pro-life movement.

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About Tony Saucedo

Tony is a Sophomore. He can be reached at masauced@umich.edu.