Women’s marches draw crowds across the nation

Image+courtesy+of+Molly+Vencel

Image courtesy of Molly Vencel

Lucia Davila, Staff Writer

Saturday morning at 10 a.m, the streets and lawns of Washington, D.C. were flooded with hundreds of thousands of participants for the Women’s March on Washington, wearing pink hats and displaying homemade signs. The march, which was intended as a call to action for women’s and human rights, drew people young and old from across the United States to the nation’s capital.  The event featured several speakers in support of the march, among them actress Scarlett Johansson, author and activist Angela Davis, and the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards.  

Several families from Bloomington made the trek to attend the march, including senior Molly Vencel with her mother, sister, and aunt. Vencel’s flight for Washington left Friday morning.

“Women have worked for over a century to gain the rights we have today, whether it be the right to vote, the right to be paid equally for equal work, or the right to make choices regarding our own bodies. I’m not willing to give those up, so I will march,” Vencel said.

For those who weren’t able to travel to Washington, more than 300 marches took place in all 50 states, as well as in 30 other countries across the world. Several events were attended so heavily that they became rallies instead, as the crowds were so dense that they couldn’t march. The hundreds of gatherings that took place Saturday morning contributed to a historic day, with the Washington event drawing in bigger masses of people than the presidential inauguration itself. News outlets are still reporting on final attendance estimates for marches and rallies around the country, and social media is buzzing with images of enormous crowds and joyous marchers.

“Peaceful protests are valuable, but the size of this protest is sure to send a message. You can’t ignore a movement in every state with literally millions of women participating,” Vencel said. The women’s march, although created and attended majorly by women, also encouraged men to join.