Nearly four years after thousands of people descended upon the streets of Washington, D.C., the day after President Trump’s inauguration, they took to the streets again on Saturday in an attempt to stop him from being reelected to the White House.
Thousands of protesters were in downtown Washington as leaders tried to energize their base ahead of Election Day, which is less than three weeks away. The event began at Freedom Plaza, where protesters convened and leaders spoke to the masses. There were shirts being sold, and masks were passed out in an effort to limit any potential COVID-19 spread.
The overwhelming message of the rally was simple — vote and do it for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris — and it came from a multitude of groups that were represented at the march.
“This country needs us to keep fighting, not just against Trump, but for ourselves and for the future we want,” Jess Morales, a member of Supermajority (an activist group dedicated to “training and mobilizing a community of all ages, races, and backgrounds”), said at the podium — eliciting cheers from the crowd.
Another speaker, Sonja Spoo of UltraViolet, a group seeking to “protect and expand health, safety, and security for millions of women,” said that “Donald Trump is leaving office, and there is no choice for him. It is our choice. And we are voting him out come Nov. 3.”
In addition to the speeches and the march that followed, they plan on doing a texting phone bank on the National Mall, where they hope to send 5 million text messages to urge people to vote.
“We saw the power when millions of us joined in the streets together the day after Trump’s inauguration. We need to bring that same power and determination to Oct. 17 to cap off Trump’s presidency just the way it started — with massive, women-led resistance,” the website of the Women’s March said of the Saturday event.
Another theme of the march was Trump’s choice, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Ginsburg, a liberal icon who fought for women’s rights for years before being confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1993, and Barrett, a judge and a religious mother of seven, stand in stark contrast to one another. Barrett’s religion, and her membership in a religious group called the People of Praise, has led people to dress up as the women in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
People who attended the Women’s March, including Democratic leaders, held signs saying that the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade are at risk of being overturned if Barrett is confirmed. Despite their wishes not to see her confirmed, Democrats in the Senate don’t appear to have any moves left to prevent it.
Of the thousands of people who were at the rally, there were two vocal Barrett supporters — one was a pro-life, pro-Trump young woman who told the Washington Examiner that she hopes Roe v. Wade gets overturned, and the other was a pro-life libertarian who plans to write in Justin Amash for president. The two, although they didn’t know each other before the rally, quickly found one another as they engaged in conversations with those who disagreed with them.
As they debated political opposites, a number of “peacekeepers” in orange vests trained in de-escalation also stood by watching as they saw a situation worthy of monitoring. There were approximately 30 of them in attendance, according to one.
There was a counterprotest scheduled for around the same time.