By Alexander Serrano and Jessica Spotto
Sixty countries. Millions of protesters. Five hundred thousand in D.C. Two hundred thousand in Boston. Ten thousand in Portland alone. The Women’s March, originally organized by Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour, was an event aimed to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.” Armed with “Dump Trump” signs, pink “pussy” hats, chants aplenty, and staggering numbers, the Women’s March on Washington has ingrained itself in the hearts and minds of all socially conscious Americans.
In D.C., the event sported celebrity appearances such as documentarian Michael Moore, actress Ashley Judd, and musician Janelle Monae. Despite reports to the contrary, this protest not only drew larger crowds than the inauguration, but stands as the largest inaugural protest in American history. To diminish its importance would be to diminish the voices of millions of Americans, millions around the world, speaking out in unison.
We have two reports, from two little-city “Port”-towns, Portland, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Here in Portland, the march began at the convergence of the Eastern Promenade and Congress Street, winding over many hills and past many, many more coffee shops to Congress Square. At one point in the day, marchers stretched from start to finish in one unbroken line. All manner of Portlandites were present. Social justice activists, mullet-enthusiast punks, aging hippies, parents and their stroller-bound children, these diverse sects chanted and marched and waved banners for two miles in the blissful morning chill.
Along the way, helpful stations were set up, and supporters handed out cups of vegan hot chocolate and hot cider. The march ended up being so large that the police force had to shut off the entire intersection of Congress and Free Street. Local businesses posted signs of support, with messages like “Love Will Win” and “Resist!” giving protesters moral support.
A massive amount of people crammed into the small-town streets of Portsmouth on Saturday, January 21. They filled the streets, wearing pink “pussy” hats and holding signs with great power and dignity that read “Girls just want to have fun-damental rights,” “Be kind” and “I am not going back to the 1950s.” Trump has made fun of and disrespected women countless times, and now citizens around the world are fighting back.
Hundreds of people in Portsmouth marched in solidarity against Trump’s disrespectful comments and his unclear stance on institutions such as Planned Parenthood. This peaceful protest started in town square and ended a couple miles down the small and bumpy roads of Portsmouth. As people marched, a marching band filled our ears with powerful music and chants started to break out. “Love trumps hate” and “We will fight for our rights!” could be heard from the rooftops of little shops and brick buildings.
Cars honked their horns in support and people from inside shops waved from the windows. The smiles on the people marching were unforgettable. The smiles indicated a full sense of pride and joy because they were fighting for something that is humane and right. This event proves that people everywhere, even in a little town on the seacoast of New Hampshire, will fight for what is right.