Activists fill Lexington for women’s march


A young girl waves an American flag at an event in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Thousands of people gathered in front of Fayette County’s district and circuit courts and marched through the city to protest President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Photo by Joshua Qualls | Staff

Emily Cole

Millions of American citizens gathered this weekend to exercise their first amendment rights. This act of protest did not come on inauguration day, but rather the day after. The Women’s March on Washington took place on Saturday, as over half a million women gathered with creative signs and a message to send to the new Commander in Chief. 

The national day of action is reportedly the largest protest in United States history. The march at the capitol has been in the works since the election results were finalized, but what was not expected was the outpour of support and solidarity from sister marches all across the world. There was at least one women’s march on every single continent, even including a gathering in Antarctica. 

The Lexington march on Saturday, Jan. 21, welcomed over 7,000 people, and began at the Fayette Circuit Courthouse, moving through the downtown area in the afternoon. With signs saying everything from “no country for old white men” to “now you’ve pissed off grandma.” 

According to Lexington native and local activist Nicole Rodriguez, the march is the perfect act of resistance. “The march means that women are willing to show up for ourselves and the planet. We will set the positive example for men. The Trump administration means to me that a great number of folks in this country are against who I am, my family and most of my friends and loved ones,” Rodriguez said. “Fight the patriarchy!”

For UK, theater junior Emma Stumpf, participating in the march meant being an ally to others. “I think it’s no secret that feminism can be largely white and non-intersectional, and that is something important to realize as a white woman facing oppression for maybe the first time,” Stumpf said. “I march to speak up for not only women’s rights, but also for black lives matter, clean water, immigration rights, religious rights, LGBTQ rights, for closing the wage and against Islamophobia.” 

“It is great to have a march to organize and empower women and allies, but it is equally important to make sure your feminism includes women of color and women who don’t have the reproductive organs being represented on the signs here today,” UK, public health junior Mackenzie King said.

The day began with a rally, which included everything from poetry to song. Noteable attendees included Secretary of State Allison Grimes.