Marquette Wire

Women march across US in unprecedented peaceful protest

Protestors+marched+in+Milwaukee+to+show+solidarity.
Protestors marched in Milwaukee to show solidarity.

Protestors marched in Milwaukee to show solidarity.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg // andrew.himmelberg@marquette.edu

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg // andrew.himmelberg@marquette.edu

Protestors marched in Milwaukee to show solidarity.

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President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated Jan. 20 as the 45th president of the United States. Simultaneously, Clare McCullough, Yazmin Gomez and Lily Osborn packed their bags. These Marquette students left around 2:45 p.m., and after a grueling 13-hour trek through the night, they arrived at the same place where President Trump was sworn in: Washington, D.C.

The students’ destination was the Women’s March in Washington D.C., an event that took place the day after the inauguration, Jan. 21. Hundreds of thousands gathered, seeking solidarity and an outlet to voice their concerns. The event grew from humble beginnings, sparking sister marches in nearly every major U.S. city and dozens more cities around the globe.

The trip to D.C. to attend the march was something the three had been planning for months, and they would have attended regardless of the result of the election. Had the election gone in favor of Hillary Clinton, there would have been a more jubilant, celebratory mood to the trip.

Still, there was no shortage of hope to be found.

“What makes this nation great is the people, regardless of our leader,” McCullough, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “There’s a lot to march for. There’s a lot to be done.”

McCullough marched for a multitude of things: the environment, immigration, diversity and the disabled.

Large security firms were hired to ensure the march was safe from counter-protestors. While McCullough was aware there might be opposition, she was not worried.

“The march is really about peace,” McCullough said. “We just want peace.”

Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, supporters marched in the morning of the 21st in the Riverwest neighborhood. The march stretched from 815 E. Locust St. to 735 E. Center St. and lasted from approximately 10 a.m. to noon. Following the march were several festivities in honor of the event, including a feminist film festival and art gallery at Company Brewing.

Nellie Vance and Brittany Nordstrum, organizers of the Milwaukee Women’s March, were motivated by their passion for human rights and their ultimate goal of achieving more representation for people of color. They were pleased by the turnout.

“It was much bigger than we expected,” Vance said. “We had talked about doing this since December, but it really kind of all came together in the last two weeks. We weren’t even public until last Thursday.”

Vance and Nordstrum believe the ability of everyone to come together so quickly is a good sign.

“Milwaukee isn’t New York, or D.C. or even Chicago,” Nordstrum said. “But it’s important for all of us to organize and protect those who are here. Every state, every city needs that.”

While they did receive minor harassment via email, there were no counter-protestors in sight Saturday morning. As a precautionary measure, two Milwaukee Police Department squad cars tailed the march. The organizers expressed appreciation for the police and their cooperation.

There may be more marches in the future, but currently Vance and Nordstrum do not have anything planned.

Vance and Nordstrum said they are hoping for peace and solidarity in the coming days.

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