Following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday, women from all over the country marched in solidarity to protest Trump’s presidency. In solidarity with other marches such as Washington D.C., the Women’s March on Madison drew around 100,000 people from all over Wisconsin and from other states.
The Women’s March on Madison was scheduled to start at 12pm and was completely filled from Library Mall, down State Street, and ending at the Capitol. Women of all ages poured into Madison with their families and children to signify their fears of raising daughters and sons under Trump’s presidency and to show unity among women of all identities and the LGBTQ community. Throughout the march the crowd chanted “No hate, not fear, everyone is welcome here,” “Not my president,” and “This is what democracy looks like.”
Among the several organizations in attendance were the Democratic Party of Green County and Planned Parenthood. Sandy Rindy, Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Green County, said that their organization came to Madison to fight for women’s rights, respect for civic rights, the protection of the environment and to be solidarity with the march in D.C. In addition, women from all backgrounds, ages, towns, and varying identities marched to represent a unified resistance to Trump’s upcoming agenda.
Ilhulpachakatl Neubauer, a UW-Madison student that identifies with the Hispanic indigenous community, wore her traditional clothing from her “Mexick” culture and said that practicing her culture is her form of resistance.
“Drumming, dancing, speaking my culture is my form of resistance and my form of showing that my people and everyone else is here and we’re not just passive,” Neubauer said.
Many people felt devastated about the election of Donald Trump and on his inauguration day, but also felt empowered marching in solidarity with each other in Madison and with other marches occurring simultaneously in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and other states.
Janie Killips, a 24 year old woman who identifies as a lesbian, came from Chicago back to her hometown in Madison to support the LGBTQ community. Killips said that she felt “attacked” when Trump was inaugurated and thought she would never have to rethink the possibility of being able to get married in the next couple of years, however, she felt very supported by the people that came in support of the LGBTQ community at the march.
For Yvonne Wu, a music professor at Beloit College, Trump’s election was a “slap in the face” and a reminder “that we have a lot of work to do.” Wu believes that it is important for marginalized people, women, immigrants, minorities and the LGBTQ community to organize and be united in order to get things done.
“Trump has a language of hate and fear that is not productive,” Wu said. “I’m here because we don’t want to normalize that and we don’t want that language to change the fabric of how we run.”
Among the thousands of women in attendance were also many men from different ages and backgrounds who showed their support for equality and their concerns about Trump’s presidency.
“I feel ready to work,” said David Ebbert, a 60-year-old carpenter from Viroqua. “There’s a lot of human need in this world and we need to keep serving it. I think Trump and the Republicans are going exactly the wrong direction and we need to stand up against that.”
At the end of the march at the steps of the Capitol stood many women, men, families, and children who listened to a series of speeches from local leaders, students, and government officials encouraging unity and resistance towards Trump’s presidency.
Among them was Abigail Schwetz, a history teacher in Madison, who said that she focuses on the youth and educating her students on being informed and involved. She added that as a teacher, her number one job was to keep them safe and that she disapproved Trump’s rhetoric.
Following that was three youth spoken word performers who voiced the harmfulness of Trump’s rhetoric on women. Ella, a sophomore in high school, in her performance stated, “I’m roots deep in internalized misogyny and it smells a lot like bullshit.”
Senator Lena Taylor and Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, both women of color and important Milwaukee state legislators, spoke and echoed the same sentiment of the need for movement and unity in the face of Trump’s election.
Mayor of Madison, Paul Soglin, also addressed the crowd and emphasized the importance of being active citizens at the local level and going “beyond” Madison to work with other states.
“We believe in equality, we believe in women’s rights, we support our Muslim and LGBTQ+ women, and minority communities and that’s why we’re here,” Tracy Douglas, a psychotherapist and 46 year old mother of four from Janesville said. “I’m here to show my kids that we get to have a voice in our America and that what Trump represents is not what we represent.”