by Barbara Nevins Taylor
Women marched with babies, children, husbands and friends, some of whom they’d never met before.
Men of every age marched too in a show of solidarity and to send a clear message to the White House and Congress. People told us over and over that one year into his presidency, Donald Trump does not represent them or what they believe.
“Everything about this administration goes against what we believe, and we need to say so,” Jennifer Eager of Riverhead, Long Island, said as she looked around the gathering crowd of thousands at Columbus Circle, outside of the Trump International Hotel.
Eager, her teenage daughter and husband Matt carried signs to make what they think quite clear.
Matt Eager said, “Everything this administration is trying to accomplish is an affront to the American way.”
An estimated 120,000 took to the streets in Manhattan, according to Mayor Bill De Blasio’s office. Many started on the Upper West Side and wound their way down through Columbus Circle and on to Sixth Avenue.
Andrea Merkin, outside the Trump International with her daughter, said, “We need to engage. We’re all tired of what’s going on.”
The New York Women’s March reflected the same feeling of good will and strong purpose as the 2017 Women’s March that brought record crowds of women to Washington, New York and other cities.
As they marched down Sixth Avenue people chanted, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go.” From the sidelines along the route a woman who gave her name only as Susan said, “It’s very important to be here to represent. We just can’t sit back on our laurels. Her friend Karen said, “It’s very clear that the demonstrators are showing what America stands for.”
Nancy, a San Franciscan in her early eighties, said, “I am very much against Trump for many reasons, including health care, being a racist, being someone I’m not proud of.”
Megan Janowski brought her daughter to the march rather than shopping at the American Doll store. She said, “It’s our future and the way it’s going right now, it’s not looking too good.”
She and the other marchers believe speaking out can change policies and influence politics.
Organizers of the Women’s March stressed the importance of using this collective energy to register people to vote, and to encourage voting, especially in the 2018 elections.
Cartoonist Mort Gerberg, who marched alongside his wife Judith this year and last in Washington, said, “We have been marching for civil rights and women’s rights for so long that my feet are worn down to my knees. But we have to keep going.”
Judith Gerberg said, “To save democracy we have to get people excited and one way is to march, another is to vote.” She, like many others, hopes to channel the distaste for Trump and Congress into concrete action. “Be sure to call your neighbors and your friends and be sure that they are voting at every election. The 2018 election is so important,” she reminded.
President Trump tweeted:
Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018