On Jan. 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, tens of thousands of people flooded the streets, taking part in the Women’s March on Philadelphia. Philadelphians shattered the expected attendance number, with a crowd of roughly 50,000 making their way through the city.
Trump’s successful presidential campaign was controversial due to his frequently sexist, racist and inappropriate comments. Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, is also known for his homophobic tendencies, shown by his support of conversion therapy. As a result, a determined group of women decided to hold a march in Washington, D.C., in order to promote unity. This protest inspired hundreds of sister marches, including the demonstration in Philadelphia, to express solidarity in the face of adversity.
A vast sea of women and men in pink knit hats congregated at Logan Circle before beginning the march. The group present was extremely diverse, including members of various races, sexualities and religions, many of whom felt threatened by Trump’s views. Despite the many fearful and tearful reactions to the election results, the crowd was cheerful. An excitement lingered in the air, amidst the brightly colored signs and constant chatter. An overwhelming happiness and optimism permeated the throngs of people, eager to voice their support for those threatened by Trump’s triumph, which was the intention of those marching — not to protest, but to overcome hate with love.
As the horde of people began to move forward, the atmosphere remained upbeat, with enthusiastic chants breaking out, such as, “This is what democracy looks like.” Finally, the masses stood in front of a large stage, erected near the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to listen to a slew of speakers and performers, such as the Granny Peace Brigade, who engaged the audience with a short and inspirational song that they taught to the onlookers.
A large number of those who participated in the event collected on the steps of the museum, a short walk from a stage that was set up for those presenting speeches. The masses used this opportunity to make statements, such as one group, who held up signs proclaiming, “Pigs are flying,” in a commentary on the extraordinary circumstances of the recent election.
The mood was unchanged, and a feeling of community, positivity and hope began to blossom.
Eliana Berson is a junior at Abington Senior High, and is considering majoring in English or political science.