Sonoma State Dean Emerita Professor of Sociology Elaine Leeder was among the millions of people, mostly women, who took part in marches all across the nation the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump. She was among the estimated 6,000 people who took part in a demonstration in Santa Rosa, pounding on drums as she marched the streets of downtown. Leeder said she felt a strong moral obligation to attend.
“I’ve been a part of every social movement since 1965,” said Leeder. “I’m greatly concerned with what is going on in this country and I felt I had to show up and be a part of the 2.5 million that showed up worldwide.”
But she, along with many other individuals who took part in the historic marches on Jan. 21, are now asking the same question: What’s next? Leeder emphasized the importance of continuing to take action after the marches.
”The marches make you feel good, but you have to take action now, such as writing to your congressional representative, running for office or following through with some sort of organized strategy for change,” Leeder said.
The Women’s March is not the end of the fight they say. There are many other campaigns and future marches being organized, such as the March for Science, People’s Climate March and the Facebook event Immigrants’ March.
MSNBC mentioned the word “march” 128 times on Jan 21 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.. CNN mentioned it 96 times and Fox News 32 times, according to Politifact.
Taking place the day after President Donald Trump’s Inauguration, the Women’s Marches were a demonstration that brought individuals together to express concerns for their rights, safety and health protections. Crowd scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain estimated that at least 470,000 people attended the main marchin Washington alone.
This was roughly three times the size of the crowd that attended Trump’s inauguration – an estimated 160,000 people, according to scientists.
The march was solidified after Trump was elected into office and Teresa Shook, a resident of Hawaii, decided to take action. Shook invited 40 of her friends over Facebook to a March on Washington. The next day, she had over 10,000 people joining the group.
It was then after that individuals around the world set out and formed what was the largest protest in U.S. history based on numbers tallied by University of Connecticut professor Jeremy Pressman.
Signs with statements such as “Women’s rights are human rights!” and “Keep your laws off my body!” were used in an attempt to not only shed light on important issues, but stand against Trump.
The marchers said they hope this demonstration will shed light on how Trump’s presidency may disrupt the progress of many issues such as women’s rights, immigration, climate change, same-sex couples and religious rights.
In addition to the march in Washington, many others took place all over the globe.
Sonoma County joined in by holding a march in downtown Santa Rosa, starting on the steps of City Hall and continuing a few blocks into downtown.
“The Women’s March was a day of hope and inspiration for me. I saw the oldest generation standing strong and encouraging the younger ones to participate, fight and be heard,” said Sonoma State University alum Rachel Evans, who attended the Santa Rosa march. “I hope our nation’s leaders take note that women will fight back if they threaten to take away our fundamental civil rights such as access to abortion and birth control.”