“I just can’t believe I’m protesting the same f***ing s**t!” a grandmother was overheard telling another marcher at California’s Sacramento Women’s March this inaugural weekend. She wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
Sacramento resident, Linda Linton, said, “We’ve been through the ‘60s once before, and I didn’t think we’d ever have to do it again. But I think everyone coming out and protesting really makes a difference!”
Linton’s friend, Linda Eaton, a nearby Placer County resident, said she came because, “People need to speak out.” She felt the Women’s march was “a rally cry to commit ourselves to the things that matter.”
Sacramento’s march was just one of hundreds of Women’s Marches that took place across the country in response to Donald Trump’s inauguration. A CNN/ORC poll showed, going into office, Trump had an overall disapproval rate of 52% among Americans, lower than any other elected U.S. President since the 1970s. The same poll showed those who thought Trump would be a “very good” president dropped from 29%, right after his election, to 24% shortly before his inauguration.
Much of the change of heart appears to come from the turbulent transition period, which, even up to the inauguration, left hundreds of unfilled government positions. Trump’s cabinet, the most unqualified in U.S. history, also brings a “combination of ethical problems, inexperience, hostility to the missions of the departments its members are being called to lead, and plain old ignorance that is simply unprecedented,” according to the Washington Post.
Lana Linton said of her involvement in the protest, “This is us training to drain his swamp.”
More than inept leadership, many women feel Donald Trump doesn’t represent the values of most Americans. More specifically, his words and actions, and his sexist, racist, homophobic, and mostly white, male cabinet picks don’t represent the majority views of the nearly 51% female U.S. population.
The Women’s March declaration says, “We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights. This is the basic and original tenet from which all our values stem.” The demographic of the marches across the country showed that the Women’s March proudly included men, women, people of color, sexual orientations, gender identities, and nationalities.
Nur, a Sacramento March attendant, and Muslim immigrant, said she felt her safety was at risk following the November election. Since then, she said, “People got more united and people have stood up for me. I’m so thankful for them.” The Women’s March gave her a voice and helped her find a community of belonging. It’s a community that Linton said includes “men, women, little kids and pets. It’s a huge cross section!”
But the March isn’t stopping there. Participants received 10 Actions in 100 Days, giving clear guidance on how to move the protest to the next phase. Additionally, the SwingLeft movement is calling participants, and concerned constituents, to help Democrats take back control of the House in the 2018 elections. 52 of the 435 seats belong to swing districts, of which the movement says they will need to win 80% to bring control back from the far right congress.
As soon as the march ended in Washington D.C. on Saturday night, March leaders called for a networking session. Consequently, Planned Parenthood, “held a training session for 2,000 organizers to try to turn mobilization into political action,” while activist David Brock pulled together 120 leading liberal donors to plan lawsuits against Trump, among other actions.
The ultimate outcome of the Women’s March may take time to see, but it is clear that a Trump presidency has awakened a sleeping giant, whose collective voice appears to only be a whisper of things to come.
Originally published on Huffington Post
Photo: Getty Images