Less than 24 hours after Donald Trump took the oath of office to become the 45th president of the United States of America, half a million people descended on the nation’s capital to express their outrage — and demonstrate unity — at the Women’s March on Washington.
Pouring in by plane, train, bus and car — many wearing the pink “pussyhats” knitted for the occasion — regular Americans joined celebrities to send a powerful message supporting women’s rights, and to issue a stark warning to the newly sworn-in president.
PEOPLE was on the ground in D.C. Saturday, and spoke to numerous women — and men — who explained why they attended:
Angelica Trinidad, 42, Daytona, Florida
Why she’s here: “We’ve definitely gotta be heard. We have the power. We definitely do have the power and we’ve gotta get it known. We’ve gotta let people know that we do have the power. So this is what we’re doing.”
Message to Trump: “He needs to understand that we are women and we have rights. It’s equal power for everybody. That’s what I believe. I’m Puerto Rican. I’ve been here a very long time. And we do have the power, we have equal rights. So I feel like he should give us a chance.
What she’s looking to achieve at the march: “To be heard. For everybody to hear what’s going on today. He was named our president yesterday. And we’re doing this today. So I hope that we can get heard.”
Plans to resist at home: “It’s really hard because Daytona is a Trump town, definitely. It’s gonna be kind of hard for me but I’m not gonna stop. I’ll continue doing the work, one step at a time.”
Oscar Flores, 24, Woodbridge, Virginia (marching alongside his wife)
Why I’m here: “To stand up for what it is that we’re doing here, the women’s march. I believe women deserve rights as well. I’m also not for Trump. So I’m standing up against Trump so that he knows that everyone has rights. Everyone has freedoms. And no one should be put down just because he’s president.”
Plans to resist at home: “By standing and walking side-by-side with my wife and other women that are marching. That’s how I plan to fight at home. Also by continuing to voice my opinion out there and let people know to stand for what they believe in.”
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Alice Doherty, 21, McLean, Virginia
Why I’m here: “To support women because Trump is going take away all the good things about being a woman. For me, the most important thing is that his comments make people feel invalidated.”
What she’s looking to achieve at the march: “Sharing my voice and showing that we will stick up for what’s right. I’m showing the empowerment of women. There’s a whole group of people that don’t support how he acts, just because he’s a rich white man doesn’t mean he can get away with doing what he wants. Most of my friends feel the same way and are here today.”
How she feels the march will bring people together: “I will share how I feel personally invalidated by Trump’s words and actions, and shed light on how people in worse situations feel. There are people who won’t be able to have birth control or have STD testing if Planned Parenthood isn’t funded for us. That’s the big picture for me.”