The footsteps of women in Madison echoed those from around the world as they marched in solidarity Saturday to protest the upcoming presidency of Donald Trump.
In Madison alone, what was estimated to be an event of at least 10,000 participants quickly turned into a peaceful crowd of 75,000 to 100,000, according to a Madison Police Department incident report.
The Women’s March on Madison started off at a packed Library Mall, filled with University of Wisconsin students and Madison residents alike. Despite the light rain women of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations came together to show support for one another and voice their resistance to the rollback of women’s, reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights.
But women were not alone in this march.
Alongside them marched men of all ages, donning signs with messages such as “Men Of Quality Do Not Fear Equality” and “Keep Your Tiny Hands To Yourself!”
— Maija Inveiss (@minveiss) January 21, 2017
For Madison resident Mark Plane, it is important for young feminists to become engaged in political activism, citing pride for his two daughters marching in the original Washington demonstration.
Others, like UW graduate student Robert Christal, said it was important to fight against the normalization of Trump’s misogynistic behavior, and continue upholding democracy.
As protesters made their way to the State Capitol, with them they carried chants of “This is what democracy looks like” and “Pussy grabs back.”
— Hayley Sperling (@hksperl) January 21, 2017
At the Capitol steps, a variety of speakers ranging from legislators to local leaders spoke on the importance of being part of the resistance.
Instead of attending the “inaugural pageantry” as he called it, U.S Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, decided to come back home and show support for his constituents.
During his speech, Pocan said the crowd at the capital steps reminded him of the Act 10 protests that occurred six years ago. Upon the mention of Gov. Scott Walker’s name, the crowd immediately started booing.
Pocan had one simple request from the crowd: “Don’t boo, organize.”
In the same vein, State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee, quoted Beyoncé when asking the fellow ladies in the crowd to “get in formation.”
State Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee echoed a similar sentiment to Zamarripa’s.
“If you stand up, I’m with you,” Taylor said to the crowd that stretched across the Capitol lawn.
One of the last speakers, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, spoke on the importance of working at the local level to find solutions to some of the problems at home.
Even though he said it is important to work with our neighbors, Soglin said it is necessary to show solidarity beyond just Wisconsin.
“We have to go beyond the borders of Madison and Dane County and share our feelings of empathy,” Soglin said.
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With Washington, D.C., and the state Legislature entirely Republican-controlled, the speakers agreed now is the time to be fighting for progressive values and legislation.
And when you’re loud enough, Madison resident Jenny Sligh said, you can create a ripple effect.
“I think younger women, especially girls a generation or two behind us get to re-experience everything that our mothers’ generation and the work they went through so they can fight apparently a fight we still have to be fighting,” Sligh said.
Montana Leggett contributed to reporting to this article.