GREENFIELD — Not everyone is celebrating.
Crowds flocked to Washington, D.C., ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States, but not everyone headed to the nation’s capital are Trump supporters.
An array of protests are planned in D.C. and cities across the country to draw attention to a variety of minority groups and social issues, in what some of the nation’s leaders are calling the biggest demonstration in history to welcome a new president, according to The Associated Press.
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Perhaps the largest protests drawing Americans to the country’s capital this weekend is the Women’s March on Washington, which is planned for Saturday morning.
Several of the participants have Hancock County ties, including Greenfield residents Donna Steele and Amy Ikerd, who works for the local probation department.
The Women’s March on Washington aims to demonstrate to officials at all levels of government that Americans – not just women – “expect elected leaders to act to protect the rights of women, their families and their communities,” according to a press release posted on the organization’s website.
Participants are expected to arrive by the busload Saturday to gather on the National Mall, hear from speakers and various performers, all of whom are expected to highlight feminist ideals.
And those are the messages Steele and Ikerd are excited to hear.
Both say they consider themselves feminists and have long supported women’s movements. They’re eager to be among the throng, to show solidarity and support for topics ranging from equal pay to reproductive rights.
Officials believed Trump’s inauguration will draw more than 800,000 people to the city Friday. The Women’s March on Washington is expected to add another 200,000 people, though some officials told The Associated Press they expect the crowd to exceed that amount.
The National Mall, where the walk is scheduled to take place, can accommodate a crowd of more than 400,000, the AP reports.
Many planning to attend the event will leave on charter buses from cities across the country. Ikerd will be among them, aboard a bus filled with women from central Indiana. They planned to leave late Friday, drive all night to arrive in Washington for the 10 a.m. Saturday start to the walk before returning to Indiana Saturday night.
Though the trip will make for a long, hectic 24 hours, Ikerd is sure it’ll be worth every moment to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many people who share her ideals.
“(Social activism) is more important now than ever before,” she said.
Steele said she hopes Trump’s administration is watching and ready to listen to the voices of those gathered outside his new front door. She expects that while women’s rights will take front-and-center stage during the march, other groups will be highlighted, as well.
“Trump didn’t win the majority (of votes in the general election), and he needs to be reminded of that in a way that will sink in,” Steele said. “Everyone should have equal protection under the law.”