Usha Kaul, Staff Writer
On January 21, 2017, the day following the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, over 4,956,000 people all over the world marched through the streets in order to send a bold message to our new administration. The Women’s March on Washington’s (WMW) Organization stated, “we are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.”
The Women’s March on Washington (WMW) was founded by a group of white women. Its intentions are that everyone can participate regardless of race, gender, class, religion, status or way you chose to vote. Hundreds of thousands of people took planes, trains, cars, buses to get to their nearest march. Almost all the major cities superseded their expectations of numbers of participants. There were a total of 418 Marches in the Unites States and 97 marches internationally, from the Antarctic Peninsula to the Congo, in countries such as France, Germany, and India. These numbers do not include the virtual marches and many pop-up marches that took place. Online marches made the Women’s March more accessible to people with disabilities.
The Women’s March was a time for people to come together and recognize that women’s right are human rights and that discrimination is unacceptable. The WMW stated that, “The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared.” The march on January 21st was just the first step in combatting this new challenge. Since this was the first day in office for President Trump, many individuals took this opportunity to protest other issues that affect the targeted communities listed above. There were signs about women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter and many more. Protesters sported posters supporting racial diversity. But don’t get me wrong. There was also an emphasis on the women’s issues. Many posters conveyed messages in support of planned parenthood and women’s empowerment in general.
A group of Goucher Students led by seniors, Usha Kaul and Sophia Robinson, departed from Goucher around 4:30AM. They were able to secure a spot on Washington D.C.’s stage where a handful of important speeches were taking place. They stood for around 7 hours and marched for another 2 hours. Speakers at the Washington D.C. March included actress and chair of the Artists Table of Women’s March on Washington, America Ferrera, Distinguished Professor Emerita at UC Santa Crus Angela Davis, filmmaker Michael Moore, actress and activist Scarlett Johansson, the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner and Jordan Davis along with many other wonderful activists and directors. Sofia Robinson stated, “The Women’s March was an incredibly empowering experience. People from all walks of life came together in solidarity, and stood up for themselves and everyone who is marginalized and not regarded as equals in the social, political, and private realms.”
Personally, I, Usha Kaul, was in awe of the immense amount of support from the entire world as we took a stand against our new government. As an Indian-American, I take pride in who I am and I want to continue to live in the United States and thrive here as such. I never want to be told I can’t. It’s part of my existence. My grandparents were a huge influence on me growing up. They fought for peace in India during partition and then I am proud to say that my grandmother, once in the United States, put on her sari and was the first Indian woman to run as a democrat for the NJ state assembly. I march for her. I march because I want the same freedom. I march because I am Indian and proud.