Hannah Collings – Staff Writer
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Forty-one Clarion University students and faculty members joined hundreds of thousands of protestors for the Women’s March on Washington, Saturday, Jan. 21.
Marchers in D.C. paraded more than two miles and held signs advocating women’s rights, while protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump. Women represented included LGBTQ women, minority women and women with disabilities.
“Given the nature of this new administration,” said Clarion University English professor Kathleen Welsch, “I marched in support of all those who will be disenfranchised by its policies and executive orders: women, people of color, the LGBTQ community and Muslims.”
Many marchers were concerned about what affect Trump and his administration would have on women and minorities because of such instances as the 2005 recording released in October in which Trump said he had grabbed women by the genitals.
One of the central ideas protested was that if the President of the United States has a callous attitude toward sexual assault, the seriousness of sexual violence toward women will be damaged.
“I’m disgusted by how sexual assault jokes and references are getting normalized by a sexual assaulter who will assume the Office,” said Dr. Kathleen McIntyre of Clarion University.
“I also believe that this administration’s cavalier disregard for a woman’s right to choose will dangerously impact women’s health across this nation.”
McIntyre said she is concerned about the future of the Violence Against Women Act.
Marchers were also concerned about other precedencies Trump set during his presidential campaign.
Trump has been criticized for such acts as mocking a reporter with a physical disability.
In Dec. 2015, Trump foreshadowed his recent immigration ban when he promised “a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” according to CNN.
The Women’s March on Washington began with a rally featuring speakers including actresses, politicians, religious leaders and civil rights activists such as former Black Panther Angela Davis.
Celebrities, people of different gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin and race participated in the march.
“The march accomplished the fact that there is a highly significant amount of people who support these issues and oppose current American administration policies,” said Clarion University Professor Philip Terman. “The voice was large, unified, coherent.”
“People couldn’t really ‘march’ because people filled every space,” Welsh said.
Sources differ on the exact number of marchers in Washington. According to The New York Times, nearly 500,000 men, women and children marched in Washington, D.C.
Almost five million marched in hundreds of cities in the U.S. and world according to the Women’s March on Washington website. Sister women’s marches were organized on all seven continents.
The Women’s March on Washington did not end on Jan. 21. “Every 10 days, we will take on an issue we all care about,” said their website.
This website offers free downloadable post cards with which participants can contact their senators about a political issue which is important to them. This campaign will continue for the 100 days of Trump’s presidency.