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When I woke up on January 21, I did not think I was going to do much, let alone attend the biggest inaugural protest in history.
As I sat in my living room, the morning news channels provided coverage of the many protesters filling the streets of the National Mall. I knew that this event was going to be historic, not only because there was half a million people flooding into the city, but because it was a national movement.
I immediately called my friend, senior Nora Hasrat, and we made plans to meet at the local Metro station.
The Women’s March was aimed at gathering people in solidarity, aimed at the protection of women’s civil and social rights. The march was also to promote equality amongst genders, people of different sexualities, religions, races, and so on.
While the rally of the event began at 10 a.m, I did not arrive in Washington, D.C. until 1 p.m. This was when the actual marching began. I arrived just in time to hear Alicia Keys’s speech.
We hopped in the crowd of marchers and began to cheer alongside them. “This is what Democracy looks like,” “Our body our rights,” and “Who run the world? Girls” were some of the popular cheers we heard while making our way down into the city.
As we approached the Capitol building, the sheer number of people who attended the march became apparent. The streets were completely flooded with people covered in pink and bearing posters.
Along with all the empowering cheers about women and equality, there were also many cheers and posters going against the newly inducted president, Donald Trump. Among them were cheers such as: “We need a strong leader, not a creepy tweeter,” and “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA,” and “Dump Trump.”
A lot of posters included phrases like “Don’t make America hate again,” “Peace is Cheaper,” or the more humorous ones that said “Not in my locker room,” and “Keep your rosary off my ovaries.”
Eventually, the congested streets caused the marching to halt. For a good 25 minutes, my friend and I were stagnant in the crowd of people. Frustrated by this, we made our way to the National Mall, where there was more open space. We took this time to take pictures and take in the event as a whole.
We took a seat and spoke to a group of women who had come from Oregon to participate. They told me although their city had its own March, they explained how they felt that they needed to be in D.C.. As we spoke to more and more people, we realized people had come from all across the country. From New York City to Los Angeles to Alabama, it was incredible to see how so many different people had come together for one common cause.
Everyone we spoke to we’re really friendly as well, regardless of the poor weather or the amount of walking people did. Among all the pushing and shoving, everyone was happy to be there and it showed immensely.
Around 4 p.m, we realized that the crowd was not going anywhere. We saw this as a good time to start making our trek back to the nearest Metro station.
Getting into the Metro was absolute chaos. The police were only letting down a certain amount of people at a time for safety reasons, and when we finally got down to the trains, they were equally as full. As we struggled to find a proper place to stand, we spoke to other people and they shared their diverse experiences from the March.
After it was all over, I was extremely grateful to have attended the March and to have taken part in this historical event.