Amy Downham writes about why she attended the women’s march against Trump’s inauguration in London. Also see the report from Edinburgh by Eileen Cook
For me today was about standing up for the rights that have been fought for by our ancestors that Trump has pompously disregarded and disrespected. It was about equality, equality for people all over the world: women, LGBT people, refugees, migrants, disabled people, the Muslim community, the Black community. Trump’s election threatens the rights of all of these groups and more, so I felt urgently that I had to be there.
The crowd at the women’s march against Trump in London was wonderful: in the freezing cold, people walked together with a fire in their bellies. Three teenage girls got a chant going, screaming at the top of their lungs. 3-year-olds with determined faces held banners. Cheers rippled across crowds of thousands of people. I’d say it was about 80% women, mostly young, but ranging from newborns to old age pensioners. The feeling was one of defiance and ferocity. People are angry – understandably. I missed the speeches because there were so many people; despite being there half an hour early we couldn’t get close. This was frustrating, but it was brilliant that there was such a great turn out.
I spoke to my fellow marcher and we discussed what marches like these actually did, if anything. It’s easy to feel gloomy in times like these, when it feels like we are going backwards. But looking all around you at people who are passionate and choosing to spend five hours in the freezing temperatures with feet like raw blocks, that feels good. I think today gave those that are discriminated against a great deal of hope. Hope counts for so much, and can be incredibly powerful if focused and organised. I’d sure as hell prefer to be angry with like-minded people on the streets of London than at home on the sofa.