Women’s Voices Rise in Baltimore and Beyond
Protests focus on rights threatened by the incoming Trump administration as thousands gathered in a show of unity
TAYA GRAHAM: This is Taya Graham, reporting for The Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland. Over one million women have registered to participate in a Women’s March, to show their support for diversity, inclusion, equality and respect.
Today here in Baltimore, peaceful protesters have gathered to demonstrate and show their support for these principles, and to show that women’s rights are human rights.
CROWD: People united, will never be defeated! People united, will never be defeated! People united, will never be defeated!…
TAYA GRAHAM: Can you tell me why you’re here today?
WOMAN: I’m here today because I care about the rights of women, and I don’t think it’s okay –- I honestly don’t think it’s okay –- that Donald Trump can do those things. So, I want to end sexism and racism. It… it matters to me that so many people want to stand up to bullies, like Donald Trump.
WOMAN: I’m not just standing here for myself, or for my grandmother, my mother, my aunts, the women that fought for me. But now it’s my turn to show that my three children, that I fight for them, and that I’ll stand for them, and make sure that their lives matter. Black lives do matter. Everybody’s lives matter. But before that, my children matter. They are who we are leaving this world to.
TAYA GRAHAM: Are you surprised, after having our first black president, that we have someone, Donald Trump, who’s so divisive and has received such strong white support?
CROWD: … (shouting) …
WOMAN: In a way, no. Because hate, like, always found its way to come out. It may sit back in a corner; it may be quiet for a moment, but… I… just to live in a world where we actually look at it, and say that we know that hate is real. And with having our first black president, to see the reactions that people had to a black man being in the White House. To a black family being in the White House, to hearing the racists and the horrible comments about their children, about the First Lady, about the president himself, being in the White House.
Turning the White House black, not looking at it in a prosperous way for our people. And even to look at it and say that, you know, there are a lot of black people that feel like President Obama didn’t do much for black people.
What he did do, was give my son the opportunity to know that he can be president, gave my daughters the opportunity to know that they can be in higher positions of authority.
CROWD: (chanting) …
WOMAN: I think it’s important to show solidarity, especially in the divisive times in which we currently live. You know, women being objectified, disrespected. You know, when we talk about racial, political and economic equality in this country, I think it’s important for us not to be silenced. So, it’s a show of unity.
TAYA GRAHAM: Are you surprised to see how many people are out here today?
WOMAN: No, I’m not. I’m not. And what I’ve said, you know, when I addressed the crowd, was that this is what Americans do. We rise up in the face of hatred, and we’ll always be in a position where love is always going to trump hate.
WOMAN: I came out today because I… speechless that Donald Trump is the President. I can barely say it without crying. I think he’s hateful. I’m here for women, I’m here for disabled people, I’m here for anyone that isn’t a fascist, racist -– no, I’m not going to curse. (laughs) That’s why I’m out here today.
And there are people out, in larger crowds than this, all over the world, even in Malawi and Kenya, Paris and London and Rome, and Sydney, Australia -– the whole world is on this, and most of my friends are in D.C., but this makes it difficult, so I came to this one.
WOMAN: We just want to have our voices heard. We want to make sure that all people are treated fairly and equally, so that’s why we’re here today. You know, we tried to go to D.C. first. We were on our way, and the metro stations were so jammed we couldn’t get there, and we’re so glad we were able to come here.
TAYA GRAHAM: You came all the way from Florida?
WOMAN: I did. I did -– unable to get to the D.C. demonstration. I feel like I’m back to the marches that we did with Gloria Steinem. I feel like we’re just going backwards, not just for women, but for everyone. We’ve accomplished so much in the past eight years; it’s frightening to me. And I think we have to all be willing to stand up for what we believe in.
CROWD: … Healthcare matters! Healthcare matters! …
WOMAN: And isn’t it? You know what? Actually not certain … but I’m going to …
WOMAN: I don’t think Congress should have anything to do with women’s bodies. I don’t understand why they can regulate what women’s bodies do, but they don’t regulate men and their Viagra.
CROWD: (singing)… We’ll get rid of Trump, some d-a-a-a-y… Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe, that we’ll get rid of Trump, some d-a-a-a-y… (cheers/applause) …
WOMAN: Coming to D.C., but we got at the… this train station, the trains weren’t coming. We were waiting in line for almost three hours to go into Washington…
TAYA GRAHAM: Oh, wow…
WOMAN: …and decided to join the March here, because the important thing is to be here, and out in support of women’s rights, American rights, black rights, gay rights, because the current administration is not there. Best sign in the place is, “You Can’t Comb-Over Racism”.
TAYA GRAHAM: If you could speak to our new president, if you could have him hear your voice, what would you tell him?
TAYA GRAHAM: (laughs) Hey! That was very succinct.
WOMAN: No point in beating around the bush.
TAYA GRAHAM: (laughs)
WOMAN: He is ill-equipped to serve that office.
MAN: We’re for a change in the country. Obviously. And we’ve seen Donald Trump roil the waters and it’s time… I’ve never seen so many people, so involved. I’ll bet you, if you went around here today, this was the first demonstration a lot of these people have been to in years. So, I think it’s going to be one of the best times for the country, because I think people are responding, as they should to him and his people.
TAYA GRAHAM: It’s amazing to hear such an optimistic view. So you’re saying that Donald Trump is actually going to bring out the best in America?
MAN: He’s provoked responses from people who have been coasting along for years, and so I think it’s really great. I don’t think he’s great. But I think this is going to be a very, very interesting period of time, and I’m excited to participate in it.
WOMAN: Trump doesn’t represent us. Isn’t that true? I mean, he… everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie. He’s… you know, campaign promises, I don’t know why anybody’s surprised, like, at the… you know, the first day he says, “Oh, I’m not doing that. Of course, I’m not doing it because I lied the whole time. I lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie…”
WOMAN: I think the most important reason is to show our lawmakers that women stand strong. They stand with each other, and they will not tolerate the horrible nastiness that Trump is spewing. And we will not tolerate his horrible cabinet picks, and that’s the main reason we’re here, and also that we will not be grabbed by our pussy hats!
MAN: I’m here for everybody. I’m here for everybody who’s worried, concerned, about the President of the United States. I don’t hate Donald Trump. I don’t know Donald Trump. I don’t think anybody really does. But I’m worried for the country. You know, if he wants to do and say what he wants to do, and be a businessman, there’s always going to be people that are, you know, rotten or say mean things, and he has the right to do that.
But he’s the President of the United States of America, and he’s in a position where his actions will have consequences for everyone on the planet. And that scares me.
SAVONIA MARSHALL: Because I think they want us to put an end to racism and sexism, and they want all women to have people to have equal rights, because no matter what your gender is, you’re still human, and the Constitution goes to you, as well.
TAYA GRAHAM: I think that’s a wonderful thing that you just said. May I get your name?
SAVONIA MARSHALL: Savonia Marshall.
TAYA GRAHAM: So, you’re here supporting your mom in the Women’s March?
SAVONIA MARSHALL: Yeah.
TAYA GRAHAM: That’s terrific. We’re thinking to make our country better, aren’t we? Trying to make our country better.
SAVONIA MARSHALL: And try to un-elect Trump. I’m not sure if that’s a word, but…
GIRL: It’s not.
SAVONIA MARSHALL: Yeah, it’s not, it’s not… “Make America Great Again”, it’s already great.