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Today’s post comes from Kristiina Craven a Denver Documentary Photographer who is a sister of a good friend of TN! Kristiina flew from Denver to take part in the Women’s March on Washington and shared this incredible personal look at the day plus photos of her experience. Visit her website to see more of her work. Enjoy!
There were an estimated 2.5 million people marching in unity in cities around the world for human rights and to send a message to the new administration that people are awake and paying attention (read: watching them like hawks).
I flew in from Denver and attended the Women’s March on Washington, DC, and it was no surprise to me that the metro recorded its second highest ridership in its history. We were packed in like sardines from the very end of the metro line. Some people said it took them 3 hours to get downtown on the metro. There were over a thousand buses and traffic looked like a regular workday rush hour.
The energy was so intense—we were all keyed up from the start. I tried to speak with as many people as I could (a couple of Trump supporters were caught in the middle of the crowded metro and I talked with them, as well) in as many locations as I could reach.
The crowd was intense, jovial, and dense throughout the day. There were chants:
“TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE—THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE”
“GET YOUR TINY HANDS—OFF MY UNDERPANTS”
“WE WON’T GO AWAY—WELCOME TO YOUR FIRST DAY”
There were signs. OH, THERE WERE SIGNS. There were messages of solidarity, pro-choice, equality, inclusion, and demands. And they were clever.
There were pink (and gray and black and rainbow) pussy cat hats everywhere. And there were men. A LOT OF MEN. Standing with their wives, sisters, daughters and sons to make a statement.
There was peace and optimism and love and joy that the march was a success and that hope is not lost.
I didn’t conduct formal interviews (I took no names—it was too hard to carry pen and paper and my phone’s battery couldn’t handle recording their comments), I took notes and always captured how far they had traveled.
My central question during our conversation was, “Can you narrow down to one event or issue that was the catapult to getting you here today?” Most stayed on topic, but some spoke more generally.
First, I spoke with some Trump supporters here for the inauguration on their way to the airport who were stuck amongst the marchers:
“We were here in 2009 with the tea party protest. I can tell you that there were SO MANY more people here than there are with these people. There were a million people here—that’s why—that’s how we got Trump elected. It is all because of that movement.” –South Dakota
Everyone else I spoke with was there for the march:
“The biggest issue that motivated me is that I feel the Constitution is being eroded. We start making changes to it and it’s a slippery slope.” –North Dakota
“Our daughters care strongly about women’s rights and they heard many things Trump said. They are anti-Trump. They were scared to come to the march. For that reason, we brought them. We never want them to be afraid to speak up.”
“It’s pretty bad when people around the world are protesting you.” –New York
“I’m here for all people and their rights—especially minorities who feel like they are on the fringe and don’t have a voice.” –North Dakota
“We are here because we are pro-life and pro-women’s march.
We weren’t sure if we would be welcome, but we were—we believe in the women’s march platform on its own, but also, if the platform helps move some of these issues forward, that will help reduce the rate of abortions. Things like childcare access, healthcare, equal pay—that will support women in all socio-economic areas. Also, I recently found out that my pay is equal to that of my male counterparts and at first I thought, ‘Hey, that’s great!’, but then I thought, ‘that should be a given.’” –Virginia
“The election was so painful and this is a way for us to come together and heal and realize that we are in this together.” –Maryland
“I have to work in a couple of hours around the corner, but I left early so I could come see this. I was crushed after the election.
Today I’m so full of hope. It’s amazing. It’s amazing.” –Washington, DC
Click through the images Kristiina took of the Women’s March on Washington! All photos copyright of Kristiina Craven