National Beat Reporter
Following the inauguration of Donald Trump as the United States’ 45th president, over 2 million people across the country took on the streets in protest of the Trump presidency — setting the record as the largest inaugural protest in American history.
After being sworn in, Trump turned to the American people with patriotic promises for a brighter American future. “From this moment on, it’s going to be America first,” he said.
The spirit of Trump’s speech was rooted in handing the power back to the public.
“We are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American people.” said Trump. “Everyone is listening to you now.”
That same day, thousands of people rallied in protest of Trump’s inauguration. Discontented citizens congregated in large pre-arranged protests like in Oakland and Washington, D.C., but also assembled in smaller demonstrations in historically conservative states, such as Louisville and St. Louis.
“We must take to the streets and protest, blockade, disrupt, intervene, sit in, walk out, rise up, and make more noise and good trouble than the establishment can bear,” stated #DisruptJ20, an activist organization that mobilized one of the inaugural protests in D.C. and other large cities nationwide.
“We must delegitimize Trump and all he represents. It’s time to defend ourselves, our loved ones, and the world that sustains us as if our lives depend on it—because they do,” the organization said.
Inauguration day in the nation’s capital was far from quiet. Hundreds of anti-Trump protesters marched through the streets of northwest D.C., with reports of vandalism, destruction of newspaper boxes, smashing of car and shop windows, and arson of a limousine to add fuel to the fire.
At the end of the day, roughly 200 people were arrested and three D.C. officers were injured.
A nationwide walkout effort unified high school and college students in protest of the Trump inauguration.
“I refuse to let hate be the norm,” Lola Chase, an 18-year-old student who participated in the peaceful marches in front of the Sacramento Capitol, told the Sacramento Bee.
“Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism and sexism were not okay before and they’re not okay now,” she said.
Approximately 500 UCSB students participated in a UC-wide walkout, organized locally by the Student Activist Network. After congregating in front of Campbell Hall in the mild January rain, students marched through campus and Isla Vista, waving anti-Trump posters as they chanted.
“The united people will never be divided!” “Fuck Trump!” “Love Trumps Hate!”
The fight did not end there for many protesters. On Jan. 21, President Trump’s first full day in office, approximately 2.6 million people gathered globally for the Women’s March––a movement that was sparked by Trump’s misogynist rhetoric and fueled by the demand of equal rights for all people.
“This women’s march represents the promise of feminism as against the pernicious powers of state violence. An inclusive and intersectional feminism that calls upon all of us to join the resistance to racism, to Islamophobia, to anti-Semitism, to misogyny, to capitalist exploitation,” said civil rights activist Angela Davis, one of the many prominent speakers at the D.C. Women’s March.
The peaceful marches in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles spearheaded the headcount, with protests accounting for 500,000 and 750,000 respectively.
“I am marching Saturday because I want to show my support for the millions of Americans who continue to believe that we should be a nation that respects and supports everyone whether they are a woman, a man, an immigrant, gay, straight, trans, poor or Muslim,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who marched in Los Angeles on Saturday, told local reporters.
“Love not hate, makes America great,” was one of the roaring chants that echoed across America.
The macro-perspective crowd pictures illustrate a blanket of pink dots––thousands of marchers donned distinct, pink-eared bonnets known as “pussyhats,” whose namesake takes a satirical jab at Trump’s derogatory “grab her by the pussy” remark back in 2005.
“I wanted to do something more than just show up,” Krista Suh said to the Los Angeles Times, who was part of the pussyhat’s initial genesis at the Little Knittery in a Glendale, Calif. neighborhood.
Over 600 sister solidarity marches spanned across the United States and overseas, touching opposite corners of America from Vancouver, Wa. to Miami, Fl., and stretching across the globe to Melbourne, New Delhi, London, and Mexico City.
Turnout to women’s marches included many marginalized communities who have been the target of Trump’s derogatory rhetoric.
“Let us fight with love, faith and courage so that our families will not be destroyed,” said six-year-old immigrant activist Sophie Cruz, who spoke in front of thousands at the D.C. Women’s March.
In 2015, Cruz slipped through security barricades to hand a letter to Pope Francis which voiced her fear of having her parents deported.
One of the major components of Trump’s presidential platform is mass deportation of illegal immigrants. In an interview, Trump stated the number would range from two to three million deportations.
“I also want to tell the children not to be afraid, because we are not alone,” Cruz continued. “There are still many people that have their hearts filled with love.”
The LGBTQ community also made their presence known at the women’s marches. Activists held signs like “I am a black, queer, first-generation American woman and I REFUSE TO BE IGNORED.”
The D.C. protester told The Advocate Magazine that she wanted to remind people “it’s not just white women who are part of this.”
“We are focusing on all women, but we are centering the voices of those who are most marginalized,” Tamika Mallory, one of the co-chairs who organized the Women’s March, said in a statement. “We do not face the same challenges of other communities and now we need to speak up.”
Although the marches have ended, efforts to continue the movement push forward. The Women’s March campaign has launched a follow-up campaign, “10 Actions / 100 Days,” which calls for people to stay involved and engaged at least every ten days. This initial round of days calls for a postcard to your senator advocating your concerns.
“We are linked. We are not ranked. And this is a day that will change us forever because we are together. Each of us individually and collectively will never be the same again,” said activist Gloria Steinem at the D.C. march. “We’re staying together. And we’re taking over.”