On Saturday, January 21, 2017, over 100,000 women (and counting) plan to march on the nation’s capitol as part of an organized reaction to the 2016 Presidential election. The Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots event led by dozens of state coordinators and volunteers, with more participants signing up every day. The March plans to feature “advocates, artists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders” who will speak at the event.
Why this march on Washington? The political climate following the election has left many marginalized groups feeling isolated, fearful, and powerless — particularly women, minorities, sexual assault survivors, LGBTQ people, and people of color.
Some of the promises made by the incoming Trump administration have left women who belong to marginalized groups feeling endangered. The possibility of losing civil rights, facing deportation, seeing an end to their health care, or being the victim of violence under the new administration has inspired widespread anxiety and doubt.
The Women’s March on Washington intends to show solidarity and unity in the face of that fear. The leadership has made clear, the March is not intended as an anti-Trump rally or a protest against the administration, but rather a positive affirmation and show to demonstrate that “women’s rights are human rights.”
From the Women’s March on Washington website:
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
How the Women’s March Began
The Women’s March on Washington is a truly organic grassroots movement. It began on November 9 with Teresa “Maui” Shook, a grandmother from Hawaii who urged forty of her friends to march on Washington.
The idea soon went viral and spread to Pantsuit Nation, a pro-Hillary Facebook group. Soon there were several Facebook pages, all created by enthusiastic activists, generating thousands of hourly sign-ups for this proposed march.
A group of organizers soon organized the effort into one official Facebook page and created the official website. There is now a Women’s March page for each of the fifty states, to help coordinate transportation efforts.
The organizers of the march have worked hard to be inclusive of all ethnicities, belief systems, and backgrounds, and have openly committed to the principles of Kingian nonviolence. They have also stated that while it is called the “Women’s March on Washington,” men are welcome allies at the event.
At this time, the Women’s March is still working out the details of its official venue. While they originally planned to march from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House, the overbooking of that route on Inauguration Day may force that to change.
You can learn more about the Women’s March and their fundraising efforts at their Facebook page or their official website, get the latest updates on their activities on Twitter, and find out what people are saying about the event by following the hashtag #whyimarch.
Inauguration weekend is fast approaching. If you or your group want to be part of this event, now is the time to call Metropolitan Shuttle and get a quote on a charter bus, shuttle van, or transportation.