The Women's March on Boston: A Recap

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The Women's March was a big deal, no matter your opinions on it. It is estimated that more than 150,000 people showed up, perhaps even 200,000. That's a lot for Boston.
While many, like myself, had problems with the lack of intersectionality at the marches nationwide, it was a great example of people uniting and supporting each other in a time when we desperately need love and understanding. In this article, two staff writers who attended the Boston march reflect on their experiences. --Penny Mack

Kailey Boucher
I wove my way through the crowd. I could feel my face blush red, taken off guard by the way the sea of pink yielded to me, parting, offering smiles and hello’s. My anxieties fell away in layers. This crowd understood personal space, this crowd would not be overwhelming, this crowd was kind. I settled in a spot near the screen and took in my surroundings. I was struck by the realization this march was not perfect. I had this idealized image: a movement wholly good wherein everyone was acknowledged and celebrated. However, it quickly became clear not everyone was on the same page; many of the signs weren’t inclusive. These problematic details reminded me of the dangers regarding idealization. Nothing is perfect (cliche but necessary to acknowledge). We all still need to work everyday to educate ourselves; we all need to constantly self reflect. Although there were apparent issues that need to be addressed, the march was positive in so many ways. I met so many wonderful people, like the LGBTQ student that I stood next to and who agreed to an interview after the march:


Where did you hear about the march?
“I saw the march on Facebook; a lot of my friends registered to attend. I was a little unsure, but after reading that it wasn’t an anti-Trump protest but actually a solidarity movement for all women and their allies, I knew I had to come.”


What were you most looking forward to?
“Elizabeth Warren! She is such a role model of mine. She represents everyone: women, people of color, workers, LGBTQ+ people. And I was just excited for the communal aspect, being surrounded by progressive, kind people.”


What was your experience like (any favorite moments, criticisms, etc.)?
“The speeches by Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Marty Walsh. They were optimistic and excited and gave the march a great sense of hope and community as we all cheered and vowed to fight together. I also really liked when the crowd sang “America the Beautiful” and “Amazing Grace” and just the good vibes at the end of the march when music was playing and everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves. I thought that criticisms of the Women's March as not super intersectional were a little bit true. There wasn't enough representation of LGBT and POC issues, especially trans female representation and the Black Lives Matter movement.”


How productive do you believe the march was/how did it affect you personally?
“I think it is too early to judge how productive the march was (laughs). But, already, I feel like everyone is more unified and inspired.”


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Meera Singh
I had found out about the march through Facebook, and registered to go. I don’t like huge crowds, and after seeing some of the protests against Trump, I was hesitant to go at first, but I knew I had to stand up for what I believe in. The amount of positive energy on Boston Common was absolutely amazing. I had never seen so many determined, strong, kind people in one place. After Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, I was terrified for the future, and had never felt more alone. Now, after witnessing the number of people at the march, I know that I need not worry.


I went up to a few people and asked them why they were marching. Here are their responses:



Mom: “I’m too shy!” (laughs)
Father: “We’re marching today because we just, you know, wanted to get out and support the things that are important to us. We’re ready to move on from the election and the swearing in of the new president, but just want things that are important to us – like women’s healthcare and women’s rights in the workforce to be [included]  in the conversation today.”
Mom: “Yeah, and I also think that today is the beginning of planning for four years from now, and this is the movement of making sure we get where we need to be in four years with the right leader for our country.”   



Far left: “Because we stand up for women’s rights!”
2nd from left: “And like Elie Wiesel said, ‘Silence is a sin.’”
1: “We have to be proactive and do something! We can’t just sit back and complain. We have to take action, it’s very important to do that.”
Woman with sign: “We’re here in support of Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to choose and a right to health, which is a human right for everybody.”
Far right: “And being old enough to remember the bad old days when in Massachusetts, you had to be over twenty one and married to even get birth control, let alone have any control over your body. We can’t go back there again.”
Far left: “We’re sending a message to Trump!”



“Oh gosh, I wasn’t prepared for this! I think because I am an American, and I am very unhappy…I’m here just to have a voice. To have my presence be felt, because I guess I feel like my voice wasn’t heard on November 8th.”


Right: “We’re here to protest the election of President Trump, and the threat [to] my personal rights, the rights of my friends and family.”
Center: “The election of Donald Trump is an attack. I’m a minority, I have Muslim family members, I have immigrant family members, I have LGBT neighbors and friends and family, and to elect someone like Donald Trump knowing what he stands for – you’re just asking for resistance.”



“To support the United States of America being a better place, because we’ve got a con-artist for president... he has filled the swamp with the very top who will deny everyone rights, privileges, but the one percent will be fine. The rest of us? Taking away healthcare? I mean, he’s working with the GOP, and as they said, some people die because they don’t have healthcare... but that’s ‘collateral damage’…so, no. And I’ve been fighting this fight, 73 today! I’ve been fighting the fight for women’s rights for so many things forever, and I will continue!”



Far left: “Well, I’m a Republican, but I can’t stand Donald Trump. He doesn’t represent what I feel, and what the Republican party is about, which is small government. And the government should stay out of our way! They shouldn’t interfere with human rights, reproductive rights, all that good stuff. So, I also think we shouldn’t have someone who’s basically confessed to sexual assault in the White House.”
2nd from left: “I agree with that, and also from someone who’s benefitted from programs like the Affordable Care Act, I can’t really stand back and let something like this happen and not be here and make sure that programs like that which benefit everybody are still around.”
2nd from the right: “I guess to add to all those things, I think growing up in New Jersey, especially after 9/11, being brown was not really a great thing to be, especially now with the Islamophobia we’re seeing from Donald Trump…I really don’t wanna go back there.”
Far right: “I just feel like he doesn’t represent ‘We the People,’ and I want to be part of ‘We the People,’ so that’s why I’m here.”
2nd from left: “Also his educational programs and nominations are not really up there, and I think we really need to fix the education system that allowed this to happen in the first place.”
Far left: “He’s been nothing but divisive and petty.”  



Far left: “I’m marching for my family: my parents, who are immigrants, and for my voice to be heard.”
2nd from left: “I’m marching for my future, because I want America to be great – not only for me, but [for] my friends, my family, everyone who’s immigrated here to make this country better.”
3rd from left: “I’m marching for my family, my siblings, so that they’re able to live in a world where they can feel welcome without feeling targeted because of the color of their skin, or where we come from.”


A couple more photos from the march:

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