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Millions of people gathered all across the world on Saturday January 21st to march the streets of their cities as concerned citizens standing up for human rights.
According to the Atlantic an estimated 3.3 to 4.6 million people attended these marches globally, including several students who participated in cities across the country.
“I was expecting it to be a little bit overwhelming and kind of scary but it ended up being really relaxed for what it was” sophomore Riley Gillibrand said after attending the march in Washington D.C. “I think it expressed really strong solidarity and it was a really strong union of people with similar views.”
The historic event is the largest protest in American history.
“I expected there to be a couple hundred people but there ended up being a couple thousand,” junior Hannah Matthews said,after attending the march in Champaign. “It was very supportive and a very positive atmosphere, there wasn’t a lot of negative chants it was about progress not so much about the issues that have happened.”
Although titled the “Women’s March” it gained support from a flood of different groups. Crowds mobilized in support of immigration rights, LGBTQ lives, reproductive rights, accountability for police brutality, freedom from sexual violence, Black Lives Matter, and more.
“I would explain it as people coming together to express solidarity and fighting for equality for all, in all aspects,” Gillibrand said.
“I think the purpose was to voice our concerns with the new administrations,” Matthews said. “It was also about Black Lives Matter, and LGBTQ lives, and basically every marginalized group there.”
The march was a peaceful demonstration of resistance while globally maintaining nonviolence.
“Some people saw it really directly as a response to Trump’s inauguration. Others were speaking up for their own beliefs, to be in a space with so many people united, and to be apart of something historic,” sophomore Ella Zona said.
Others students who marched were freshmen Lupita Echeverria, Liz Raycraft, and Lily Matthews, sophomore Catherine Winger, and junior Katherine Raycraft.
Not everyone was supportive of the march, as some people disagreed with the signs being held.
“That’s their prerogative,” Zona said. “But it’s important to recognize when it comes down to things like that, it’s about making people feel protected, and united”