The nation is weary after an election season filled with rancor, division and controversy. But actress and activist Sophia Bush insists that now more than ever, it’s time to take a stand against President Donald Trump.
Bush, who was among the estimated 500,000 people at the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, told PEOPLE at the protest that it’s up to all Americans to come together to fight Trump and help protect each other’s rights.
“The election was insidious and I feel like a lot of people sort of threw their hands in the air and said, ‘I don’t want to deal with this.’ And I get it. Donald Trump turned our political system into a circus. It was embarrassing,” she said.
“But at the end of the day, this is where we are now. This is when we double down and we stand up and say, ‘No, you will not destroy our environment to make money for your friends that are already billionaires. No, you will not hit our education system and make life harder for the kids in this country. No, you will not gut our health care system and let people die of cancer and preexisting conditions. No, this isn’t happening.’ “
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Bush — who campaigned for former President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and for former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 — told reporters Saturday that she was honored to work with the Obama administration and with Michelle Obama, with whom she moderated a 2016 South by Southwest panel discussion on the former first lady’s Let Girls Learn initiative.
Bush added of her participation in the Women’s March, “I’ve always wanted to show up.”
“The day I knew this march was being organized I called the organizers and I said, ‘Tell me how I can help. Tell me what I can do. I’m there. Literally anything you need.’ “
“For me, this is how we vote,” Bush said. “What companies you support, where you spend your money. What things you are willing to actually activate around. That’s how you show your government and the world what you want.”