Jan. 23, 2017
By Alicia Steele, Kelsey Watznauer, Kelsey Grapperhaus and Paige Clanahan
More than a million people gathered in Washington Saturday to march to the White House, taking a stand for women’s rights around the globe.
“Every single person in those streets had a story – a reason for being there,” said Allison Borthwick, Murray State alumna living in Fredericksburg, Virginia. “Whether it be about their reproductive rights, equality in any form, human rights, justice and more, every person marching that day had a story to tell that made them angry enough to chant it over and over and over.”
Another Murray State alumna, Mallory Tucker, said she marched for equality.
“I want to close the wage gap,” Tucker said. “I don’t want women to pay more for insurance because we have this pre-existing condition called the ability to get pregnant.”
The march consisted of women from around the country who all share a common frustration.
“We marched all the way to the White House and stood in awe as a sea of angry, nasty, strong people poured in around us,” Borthwick said.
According to NBC News, Saturday’s march was the second-most crowded event in history for Washington’s Metrorail, after President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009 and was three times as large as Trump’s inauguration the day before, according to The New York Times.
Crowd scientists Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still, from the Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain, analyzed photographs taken of the National Mall and related areas.
The scientists had better images for Trump’s inauguration crowd for analysis, which was concentrated on the mall, but with the Women’s March being more sprawled out, the actual number of people who participated in the march could be larger, they said in The New York Times article.
The maps below show the areas that they determined to be the highest crowd density at each event.
While the graphics proved otherwise, Trump falsely accused the media of lying about the size of the crowds at his inauguration.
Trump said when he looked out from the podium, “It looked like a million, a million and a half people,” and the area “all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed.”
Despite the number of attendees, D.C. police claimed to have had zero reported arrests as of 6 p.m. Saturday, according to NBC News.
“Undoubtedly the most inspiring thing about this march is the fact that I saw absolutely zero violence or hostility,” Tucker said.
While the Women’s March was arrest-free, Trump’s inauguration saw 230 people arrested, some for smashing windows at Bank of America and Starbucks storefronts, setting a limousine on fire and lighting an impromptu bonfire on K Street, according to NBC News.
According to the Women’s March website, 673 marches took place around the globe in all 50 states, including stretching to Murray, and 32 countries, with the largest taking place in Washington. It estimates 4.8 million marchers reported so far.
“Today represented the biggest call-to-action we could muster,” Borthwick said. “It was like hundreds of thousands of your closest friends banning together, walking up to the President’s front door and, instead of begging for mercy, fighting for change.”
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) January 22, 2017
Photos contributed by Mallory Tucker and Allison Borthwick.
Originally published to JMC597.mymurraystate.com