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Photo: Sarai Nissan

UTOPIAN MOMENT: JANUARY 21, 2017

Facebook event emerged shortly after Hillary Clinton conceded the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump. The “Women’s March on Washington” was created by a Hawaii native, Teresa Shook, as a way to counter the election results, and express solidarity for marginalized Americans.

According to The Washington Post, Shook invited 40 of her friends to a march on Washington exactly one day after Inauguration Day. The planned march quickly took off, “When she awoke the next morning, 10,000 additional names had joined the group and there were 10,000 interested in coming,” The Post said.

Shook’s feelings were shared by thousands around the world. Facebook groups started to emerge and individual events for the Women’s March for different states and countries were created, including Denver. Many Facebook users posted their excitement, some posted advice on how to stay safe, and most encouraged one another to continue the fight to have their voices heard.

On Jan. 21, millions of people around the world marched streets in their cities to show solidarity with those in America feeling uneasy and at risk of losing their rights. Denver joined the rest of the world by gathering in Civic Center Park, and had a significant turnout, at over 200,000 people marching through downtown.

The Denver Women’s March began at Civic Center Park and slowly made its way through downtown and the 16th Street Mall. Protestors were clad with signs saying things like, “Love not hate makes America great,” “Love wins,” and “Love trumps hate.” Marchers chanted through the streets saying, “No hate. No fear. Everyone is welcome here,” and “My body, my choice.” Along with the women, there were men and children there to show their support. Many protesters wore the now iconic “pussy hat,” which are pink hand-knit hats with cat-like ears.

The protesters turned out in record breaking numbers. “According to a sister march webpage, an estimated 2.6 million people took part in 673 marches in all 50 states and 32 countries, from Belarus to New Zealand—with the largest taking place in Washington,” stated an article from USA Today titled “At 2.6 million strong, Women’s Marches crush expectations.”

With such an overwhelming turnout—with a higher number of people than at the inauguration it is no shock that the Women’s March even sparked comment from President Trump. “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly,” Trump tweeted.

The Women’s March sparked more marches in the following months, the most recent being the March for Science on Earth Day. April 15 also had marches across the nation, where protestors were demanding to see his tax returns. Activists have continued to show up in droves, with signs in hand.

These protests have undoubtedly been inspiring and incredible to see unfold. The sheer amount of people sharing the same vision for the future of the world is inspiring and exemplifies powerful Freedom of Speech, which is what it means to be an American, fighting for what is right.

Ashley Kim
Ashley Kim

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