Tina Elie, 30, came to the march from Ditmas Park, in Brooklyn, with her wife and friends. “Everything about me is endangered,” she said. “I’m a black lesbian immigrant. And I’m also a scientist, which I guess is a problem now too! Today feels morally exhausting, to be honest, because of the fact that we even have to do it. I think today is a collective sigh. It’s like a community party. But the real work going forward is calling our senators, making our voices heard on every one of these issues.”
US Navy Commander Lori McCurdy, 42, came to the march with friends from Maryland. “I had to be here,” she said. “I can’t be silent. I was not happy when Trump was elected. I’m concerned about his lack of character and integrity. This is not the sort of thing I usually do. But this election has made me an activist. I’m a reluctant activist! I hope that from here people continue to organize and talk to each other and figure out what the next steps are.”
Ousmane Niambele, 16, Francisco Serrano, 16, and Luis Jimenez, 18, came to Washington with their high school, the Harvest Collegiate School, in Harlem. “I was really frustrated yesterday – being from New York, we don’t see a lot of Trump supporters. But yesterday, with all those red hats, I was really frustrated. I get mad, I almost lost it on people a few times. Trump is just for the rich! I was talking to this 50-year-old guy, he was from Virginia, he said he had three daughters. I was like “What do you think you’re telling your daughters when you support Trump?” He didn’t really have an answer for that. He slid around it. We met a gay Trump supporter too. It blew my mind! Today, though, I’m chillin’. It’s good vibes. It’s all about people coming together. What I’m seeing around me here is equality.”
Eric Colon, 29, came to Washington from his home in Waterbury, Connecticut to attend the inauguration. “This march is a distraction. Donald Trump isn’t going to take away any rights from these women. I’ve been getting a lot of comments like ‘How could you vote for Donald Trump, considering the color of your skin?’ What does that mean? Because of how I look I owe a certain person my vote? People say ‘What about immigration?’ but look: I’m Puerto Rican, I live in the inner city. Those refugees aren’t going to be moving into the rich suburbs, they’re going to the inner cities. They’re going to be trying to get jobs when we already don’t have enough jobs there. I’m self-employed. I do lawn care and snow-removal. I’d never really been into politics before, but I really think Trump is the guy to bring jobs back.
Lee Carol Cook, 55, came to the march from Herndon, Virginia. “My family feels pretty strongly that we may have lost an election, but we have not been defeated. I’m here because I feel like for the first time in my life, I have to protect my daughter from what’s happening. For me, the work beyond this day is the private mentoring I do with kids to get them into college. I’m a lawyer and an educator. A lot of the women that I think of as my peers, we got our degrees in law or medicine, we had kids, and we sort of thought we’d achieved what we’d set out to achieve. And now – boom! – we’re right back where we started.”
Mia Bjelogrlic, 33 a registered nurse, came to the march from Maryland. “I’m here to remind the government that they’re working for us. As a lady in my thirties, I’m afraid of having children. I thought we were progressing. Now I feel alone. Being here feels incredible for me. Where I’m from, there’s a lot of conservatism. Being here today, it’s reassuring. It feels like there are a lot of people who are also concerned, and that maybe together we can do something about it.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 21, 2017