Trade & Union Staff
On the day following the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, a massive protest march was held in Washington D.C., and in cities throughout the country and the world.
Estimates of as many as a half a million people participated in the march in our nation’s capital. There were so many participants along the planned route that, at times, marchers stood in place because there was no room to move. The plan to proceed to the Ellipse, an area of the National Mall near the White House, had to be abandoned.
Scores of sister marches occurred simultaneously in cities, large and small, across the country and in 81 countries throughout the world including Germany, France, Canada, the United Kingdom and even the Antarctic Peninsula. According to the organizers’ official website, womensmarch.com, there were 671 marches and close to 5 million marchers world wide.
According to the mission and vision statement on the website the guiding principle is to “stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.” The concept of the women’s march was created, in part, as a result of the polarizing and disparaging comments that occurred with regularity during the recent political campaign and deemed threatening to a diverse group of people including immigrants, the LGBTQIA community, people of color, the disabled and victims of sexual abuse.
In Trenton, where the march was said to have attracted an estimated 6,000 people, State Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, representing the sixth district including 15 towns in Camden and Burlington Counties, addressed the marchers and said she was there because every woman deserves equal rights. Along with her colleagues in the state assembly, Elizabeth Muoio, representing the 15th district (Mercer County), and Shavonda Sumter, representing the 35th district which includes Paterson, Lampitt is working diligently so women’s issues are addressed as well as issues affecting all those whose rights have been or may be compromised.
“We fight to protect the victims of domestic violence from their abusers,” said Lampitt, “whether in the courtroom or in their homes. We fight to end discrimination based on skin color, gender, ability and sexual orientation. We fight for women in the workplace, ensuring equal pay, paid sick leave and paid family leave.”
As chair of the Assembly Woman and Children Committee, Lampitt said these issues are foremost on her mind every day and she challenged the crowd, women and men alike, to remain involved and to use the event as the launch pad for continued action in the days and months ahead.
“For me, seeing this outpouring of support for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families leads me to believe that all of you are ready to get to work,” she said. “Today shows that we are willing to stand up for what we believe in and that we are larger than those who use hateful rhetoric and prejudice to divide us.”
Attorney Linda Hinkle, whose practice concentrates on divorce and family law as well as public affairs, immigration law and government affairs, attended a smaller but no less spirited gathering of about 200 people at Gloucester Township Park on Hickstown Road in Sicklerville. She said she has always been politically active and it is more important now to continue to fight for the rights of women, labor and other groups whose interests could be damaged by decisions made now and in the future. “We have to continue to pressure our representatives (in Congress),” she said. “We have to keep fighting.”
More events are planned for the future as this movement continues to grow and becomes fortified in its mission to tackle inequality wherever it exists.