On January 21st, only one day after Donald Trump's inauguration, millions of protestors gathered for the Women's March on Washington and sister marches across the globe, including Nantucket. The Women's March on Washington started through a facebook post and grew from there. According to their website the march was carried out on the principle that “women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability,” stating that “the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us - immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, native people, black and brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault...” This same message was used by march organizers all over the U.S. Organizers called out for people to come and participate in this historic event, to stand up for human rights. Many believed that Trump had expressed misogynistic views and the anti-Trump presence was equal to that of the humanitarian one. An estimated one million people gathered in the U.S. alone and there was a demonstration on every continent including Antarctica.
In Washington DC, according to multiple sources, at least half a million people participated in the demonstration, although it could have been larger. Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still, crowd scientists say that the march was roughly three times the size of Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd. Before the march, a rally was held with speakers including social activists, politicians, and notable celebrities such as filmmaker Michael Moore and actress Scarlett Johansson. The wide range of speakers came from all different backgrounds and age. The youngest presenter being five year-old activist Sophie Cruz. Musical artists also performed including Madonna, Alicia Keys Janelle Monáe and Indigo Girls. People spoke out against the new administration's agenda and Trumps attitude throughout the campaign up to his inauguration and about other social and economic issues in addition to women's rights and equality.
Originally it was expected that roughly 209,000 people would march but over double that were in attendance, and the march, set to begin at 1:15, was slow to start causing standstill crowds all over the Mall. In contrast to the aggressive inaugural protests where, according to CNN over 200 people were detained, the march was nonviolent and no one was arrested.
There were Nantucketers who attended the Women's March on Washington but many who could not make it to DC went to the Boston Women's March for America where Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke.
Of course not everyone who wanted to go could get off island, and so the Sister March ACK materialized. The march on Nantucket also started as a post on social media. Organizers Barbara Congdon, Linda Humphreys, Athalyn Sweeney and Rita Scarlet helped organize the Sister March in conjunction with other Nantucket residents. “We don't talk about our diverse community and I think that knowing that people that I care about are fearful of tomorrow, of their security, people that they love, my children’s best friends, my friends, it's gone on so long, I can't point at people and say you're American and you're not,” said Humphreys. Many people talked about the diversity of Nantucket that they feel sometimes gets overlooked, feeling that now is the time to embrace that diversity.
The diverse crowd gathered before the march in the Atheneum Garden, where community members spoke and performed. According to a Google Spreadsheet, there was an estimated 400 people present.
The world wide Women’s March was the first of many protests following Donald Trump's Inauguration. In the weeks after, people have gathered in solidarity against a host of other issues, including the recent travel ban. There are more marches and protests being planned and it has turned into a national movement.